The Goldilocks Zone of Startups: Why "Just Right" Is Not In The Middle - Deepstash
The Goldilocks Zone of Startups: Why "Just Right" Is Not In The Middle

The Goldilocks Zone of Startups: Why "Just Right" Is Not In The Middle

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Goldilocks Zone

Goldilocks Zone

In science, the term “Goldilocks Zone” describes the distance a planet needs to be from the star at the center of its solar system in order to potentially support life with water. Too close, and water will evaporate from the heat. Too far, and it will freeze from the cold.

Earth inhabits a Goldilocks Zone. It’s just right — for us. But in the grand scheme of things, it’s skewed towards an extreme. The vast majority of planets are either far too hot or too cold for liquid water.


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Goldilocks are not in the middle

Goldilocks are not in the middle

The Goldilocks Zone, doesn’t typically live in the middle of the distribution. Instead, the Goldilocks Zone often exists in the tail.

People love saying that “the right answer is somewhere in the middle.” But usually it’s closer to one end or the other. Aristotle coined the concept of “the virtue of the mean”: virtues and vices aren’t polar opposites. Instead, cultivating virtue is about finding the mean between excess and deficiency.

For example, courage, a virtue, isn’t the opposite of cowardice. Instead, it lies between cowardice & recklessness, but it's closer to reckless.


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Goldilocks Zone for Founder Virtues

Goldilocks Zone for Founder Virtues

  1. Confidence: you have to be headstrong enough to be able to smash your head against an industry but not overconfident to the point of shutting out any feedback. 
  2. Intelligence: smart but not overly-complicate things
  3. Agreeableness: be able to get people to like you bit not transform into a people pleaser.
  4. Competitiveness: ambition but not at the point where you’re willing to do anything to succeed. 
  5. Expertise: good to know a domain but you can’t be bound to the way the industry was going alread
  6. Vision: but not delusion. 
  7. Anti-Normal: “it’s weird not to be weird.”


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Life-long learner. Passionate about leadership, entrepreneurship, philosophy, Buddhism & SF. Founder @deepstash.

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