The current principle, the fifth, is a quote that we (along with the rest of the web) are probably misattributing to Winston Churchill:
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
Grit, perseverance, tenacity is something we look for in the founders we work with. It is the dogged pursuit of what works, the search for truth: the truth about our work, the world, and - increasingly - about ourselves.
There's an ongoing conversation in psychology that "grit" is just spectacular marketing of trait conscientiousness. But it is good marketing isn't it? When we were rebranding to Heartcore, the alternative "True Grit" made in onto the longlist.
One of the reasons it didn't stay there is the movie, but another is that grit/conscientiousness seems to be a result, rather than the cause, of the fuzzier but more foundational concept of courage.
Not incidentally courage is one of the four cardinal virtues of antiquity.
It takes courage to start a company. Unless you are from a very privileged background, startups are precarious, risky endeavours. It is a fundamentally braver path than working for somebody else.
Startups take a long time. Inherent in the perspective of perserverance is an aspect of endurance. It's a marathon, not a sprint.
And then there's an aspect of moral courage: to not forego one's values in the face of difficulties. Of remaining honest, retainining integrity, growing into the genuine leader that you have the potential to be.
We prize courage as moral because it lets us act on our values rather than our urges. At the mean between rashness and cowardice (Aristotle), courage is a path of moderation or temperance (another cardinal virtue!) of the animalistic. And thus it is at the very base of civilization (and good companies).
Founders first. Always.