The Analogy of the Watch

Would a VC fund this watch?

Would a VC fund this watch?

In the 17th century, British theologian William Paley espoused the Analogy of the Watch as proof for the existence of God. He argued that if a man were to find a watch in a meadow that, even if he had never seen a watch before, he would know with 100% certainty that the watch had been constructed by a guiding hand. The interdependent intricacies of the watch were proof alone of the watchmaker.

I argue the same is true for entrepreneurialism: if a VC were to find a dense business plan with many interdependent intricacies, he would know with 100% certainty that it was unfundable.

Having funded a complex business plan, I’m not saying that it is impossible. But the more complex the business model, the harder you must work at minimizing or eliminating altogether any nonessential risk. As to how, it depends on the business plan and the relative risk in question. Look at every component of your plandistribution, roadmap, brand, IP, pricing, customer acquisition, burn to breakeven, defensibilityand pick your complex differentiating silver bullets. Simplify the rest.


Below is a full list of Entrepreneurial Reluctance/e-Publishing Reticence lessons from my Top 10s blog post.

Entrepreneurial Reluctance

1. The Catalyst(s)
2. Good $ vs. Bad $
3. Risk Reduction
4. The Network Effect
5. Been There, Done That: The Serial Entrepreneur
6. The New New Thing
7. Emergence & Maslow
8. The Analogy of the Watch (moving parts)
9. A Clean Cap Table
10. Perseverance or Blinders

e-Publishing Reticence

1. False Deadlines
2. Readers & Editrs
3. Genre Opportunities
4. Target Marketing
5. Self-Promotion
6. Creating you Literary Brand
7. The Indie-zation of Literature
8. The Placenta Effect
9. Amazon Ranking
10. The Book Tour


2 thoughts on “The Analogy of the Watch

  1. When I read these posts about business, the ones that fly miles over my head, I experience a sense of awe and fear of you, Drew. How can such a sensitive and aesthetically pleasing artist know these dark secrets of the evil corporate underworld? How can he move among its inhabitants, undetected?

    I guess that’s what this bog is all about, eh?

    I hope you are having a beautiful time in Paris.

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