Entrepreneurs tend to have great ideas but struggle to bring them to life. This seems to be partly due to not having the right skills to move beyond the idea and into the marketplace. Am I off base on this?
For me, the top 3 skills I believe every entrepreneur should have are:
What do you think?
Everyone will tell you that the #1 skill is perseverance. Startups go through ups and downs. Even the supposedly instantly successful ones do.
Do you know how long it took twitter traffic to take off? One week? One month? One year?
Perseverance is required. If you cannot push through every obstacle, including your own emotional downturns, outside pressure, financial difficulties, etc, then you will not succeed.
Expression is more than good communication, it's the ability to share your vision with others in a way that they will not only understand it but they will see it and feel it as you do. If you cannot express your vision you will be unable to get the people you need to fulfill it.
Definitely not financial knowledge! I barely know any entrepreneurs who knew anything about finance when they started (including me). Plenty of time to get that once it's a "problem." :-)
If you substitute empathy for knowledge in number three, I'd agree with you. Empathy is quite often over zealous or incorrect entirely, some people are just too difficult to read.
If you hired them, or will be doing business with them it should be (in part) because you know something about them.
I know its a rather vague point, but it deserves mention. Save empathy for when a client brings in an unexpected 'ringer' to a meeting .. and pray you had time for a shower that morning.
This is a bit naive to think you can come up with three things. It is more like a mix and match. One can probably choose a few dozen skills that are very important. Being low scorers in ALL skills is pretty much a non-starter. You can overcome some weaknesses with other strengths. The key is knowing how to do that.
SUCCESSFUL entrepreneurs must be very good at some set of things, but of course no one is adept at all the skills that one would learn are important.
You also don't specify a domain - generalizing for ALL entrepreneurs is hard - really hard.
Here is my list:
Perseverance is a character trait that is, or course, essential - that is probably the most outstanding characteristic one MUST have. If one is too easily swayed or accepts the "NOs" then one will never make it.
I think the answers will depend on the type of entrepreneur. I tend to be more of a visionary type, so I tend to focus more on the big picture, but I realize I have to be realistic and stop trying to have the app do everything I want, initially, else I will never release anything.
UPDATE: I forgot about the word skill in the question, so I will fix that.
I think that spending more time developing the soft skills becomes important, esp if you are trying to do something very different than what people are used to doing, to do something that is practical.
For dialog vs debate you can see
ok its more abilities than skills...
Seriously, unless your ideas are revolutionary and I can almost guarantee that they're not, then you're going to need confidence in yourself, confidence in your ideas and confidence in others to get anywhere as an entrepreneur.