There is no Show Business Commission

In the latest season of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, Alec Baldwin talks about the Show Business Commission.

The Show Business Commission is a shadowy organization that identifies people with “enormous talent and tremendous potential” and yet “don’t really know what do to with it”.

They’re shadowy in that they’re able to find people with no profile, no public work, and yet identify their talents and pluck them from obscurity. You could be sitting at home watching television one minute, and the next you’re called up to appear on the big screen.

Of course the Show Business Commission is a lie, something people fool themselves into thinking is reality.

That you don’t need to do the work. That you don’t need to tell people about it. That someone else will one day magically discover you. That you don’t need to be the one in control of making your life a success in the pursuit you choose to focus on.

I’ve had some of this in my own life.

“If I could just get some funding for this idea, I could really make it a success. I just need to hire a team to build it”.

“If I could just find a cofounder”

“If I could just find a really big idea to focus on”

The reality is none of these things just happen. And they’re not going to fall from the sky either. You have to work for them.

I didn’t really need funding. There were plenty of ways I could bootstrap the ideas I had in my head. Or at least make a solid effort towards them.

I didn’t even need a cofounder. Again there were ways I could build traction either myself or with an outsourced team.

And I was never going to just find a big idea to work on. I just needed a not-terrible idea and to get started on something — anything — that would get the gears moving.

What each of these things had in common is that once I got over my own mental restrictions of needing something extra, and instead figured out what I could do with what I already had, the things I had previously lusted after fell into place.

Investors were interested in funding the business since I’d shown that it was more than an idea, and that I had de-risked some of the bigger challenges.

Cofounders came out of the woodwork once I could demonstrate the progress I’d made in building the prototype and early customer development, as well as how serious I was about this business.

And an idea that initially seemed like a small business got me closer to customers to discover much bigger opportunities in adjacent spaces.

If I’d waited for the Show Business Commission, or the Startup Commission, I would still be in the same place. Another random guy with an idea seeking external validation without putting in the work.



Australian in SF. Product manager & entrepreneur. Running & reading.

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Ned Dwyer

Ned Dwyer

Australian in SF. Product manager & entrepreneur. Running & reading.