The rational case for ambition

I believe in ambition. I like working with ambitious founders because they stretch my imagination and force me to work to a better version of myself. Founders like Mait from Lingvist and Rodolfo from Weave are prime examples of people who push their visions of the future.

There are practical reasons why founders should be ambitious. Ambitious founders achieve extraordinary outcomes, both economically and socially, compared to un-ambitious founders. Ambitious founders scale faster, saving opportunity cost for themselves, their team, and their investors.

One reason why ambitious founders can do the above is what I call the resource amplification effect. Given two startups with similar start points, for every unit of time, ambitious startups achieve more output because of their ability to command superior resources. In effect, ambitious startups are able to achieve outcomes in a shorter amount of time.

alt

Ambitious founders are able to marshall resources because ambitious employees (human capital) and investors (financial capital) want to work with them. Better employees, due to 10x capabilities, can help a startup build faster with each unit of time. Better investors, due to their experience and networks, can help a startup scale with each unit of time and money.