Time is the most valuable treasure we have because it's unlimited, said Alexander the Great at his death bed. I believe that Alexander was wrong, time is not of the same value to everybody. For a 4th century BC entrepreneur type it was, but for the kings and nobility that had inherited their fortunes tied to their family name, it wasn't.
In entrepreneurship, time simply runs faster than in any industry. With this in mind, I want to put forth a sort of startup time exchange rate proposition. The idea is that time is of greater importance in small, newer companies when compared to bigger companies, established family businesses or government entities.
For someone venture-oriented, full of hunger and spirit, time is of the essence and for those that don't share that view, the saying does not apply. I would define these individuals under the following three categories:
1. Those that have tenure
2. Those that live under bureaucratic processes
3. Those that don't work for a living
I don't mean to belittle them; I simply intend to make a point about time. Because we often criticize these categories of people and complain about red tape and the time it takes for simple processes to take place, often labeling people as lazy, slow, or indifferent. But the reality is the different appreciation of time--they simply don't attribute the same value to the time currency as the rest.
For startup entrepreneurs time is never your ally, time is money, literally every minute costs someone; that being investors, banks or to the founder's savings. So the faster you get to product-market fit and sales, the more time you can buy in the future.
In economics the time value of money is the idea that money available at the present time is worth more than the same amount in the future due to its potential earning capacity. This core principle holds that, provided money can earn interest, any amount of money is worth more the sooner it is received.
So what if you already have the money you are aiming to earn and you are already fulfilled? Time simply isn't as valuable as it is for someone that is looking to get it in the shortest term possible (entrepreneurs primarily fit in this category).
Sometimes there is even a dilemma, from the three category of individuals, of inherent risk vs reward (e.g. fast work may be less accurate and can create risk or cause trouble). On the flip side a startup simply wants to buy more time and grow faster even when taking bold risks.
An example of this is the stunt that Richard Branson pulled in 1987 when crossing the Atlantic in a balloon promoting his newest venture Virgin Atlantic. He knew he didn't have time and that he needed to accelerate the marketing efforts of his company to the point of putting his life on the line. Today we all know who Richard Branson is.
I recommend watching this video of Casey Neistat Nike commercial which can give you a sense of how time can be valued in a more outgoing perspective.
With this we must be conscious of the value of time that the person on the other side of the table has, we should analyze their position and be straightforward with each other's value of the asset and consider in which category we might fit in in that precise moment of our lives.
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