To invest money in a business during its infancy means taking a fair amount of risk — there’s a good chance you’ll never see that money again. Often early-stage investors will talk about developing conviction. It’s (almost) a prerequisite to really believe in the company and the team running it. Investors will broadcast their conviction as if it were a merit badge, even celebrating the rapidity of their arrival at said conviction. They’ll use their conviction to make bold predictions about the future.
Meanwhile those same investors often talk of humility. There’s a brutal probabilistic reality here. We’re bound to be wrong at least some (but maybe most) of the time. How do we know that yet continue developing conviction in the next idea?
I have no clue! There seems to be a cognitive dissonance that allows us to suspend humility, develop conviction, and make bold predictions of the future. I’m struggling to understand how conviction and humility can coexist at the same time. Any ideas?