We love winning and winners.
In sports, we hand out trophies and belts to scorers and champions.
In business, we celebrate CEOs who increase their stock price.
In politics, we anoint winners and losers based on the votes they win.
What do these have in common? In each domain, it's easy to keep score.
In sports, everyone knows the score.
In business, you always know exactly how much a publicly traded company is worth.
In politics, polls and elections provide constant validation (or despair).
And because it's easy to keep score, we end up focusing on winning.
In doing so, we mistake winning for accomplishment.
In the startup world, it's not that easy to measure accomplishment. We try to keep score with the metrics we have (headlines, rounds of funding, vanity metrics), but unlike sports or politics, these metrics don't define success. At best, they are loosely correlated.
Stop worrying about winning. Start worrying about accomplishment.