There's no shortage of brash, aggressive, and successful personalities in business. (Think: Travis Kalanick, Marissa Mayer, and Rupert Murdoch, who've each earned a reputation for ruthlessness.) After all, a healthy dose of self-confidence is a necessity when it comes to getting your company off the ground, according to business veteran Steve Blank.

Blank--who's been involved with or founded eight companies over the course of his 21 years spent in Silicon Valley--emphasizes the importance of creating your own "reality distortion field."

"A founder needs to create an environment where potential customers believe that they can actually see a product, when all you have is a vision," he says. The same, of course, goes when you're in front of investors: If you want someone to buy into your company, you'd better have the confidence to pitch it effectively. 

The problem, he warns, is when founders get too absorbed in their own hubris. In Greek tragedy, hubris means blatant defiance of--or pride in front of--the gods and it's a fast way to find yourself the victim of divine retribution or your worst nemesis, as in the downfall of Oedipus Rex. The modern day business equivalent might be bankruptcy.  

Put simply, founders will fail if they ignore relevant data suggesting that something isn't working. It's more than possible to fall into this "trap," Blank says. Sometimes, the customer just isn't interested in your product, and you'll have to come to terms with it. 

For more on finding the right balance of hubris and humility, watch the video in its entirety below.

Published on: Mar 30, 2015