[LeWeb] Why Are Cliché Sports Analogies Being Used to Explain Entrepreneurship?

[LeWeb] Why Are Cliché Sports Analogies Being Used to Explain Entrepreneurship?

LeWeb Day 1-64

The propensity for comparing rich people sports to entrepreneurship has hit an all time high. We now have kite surfing in Maui, skiing in Switzerland, golf on Pebble Beach and bungee jumping in Thailand.

At LeWeb 2013, Loic brought in Jesse Richman, a world champion kiteboarder to drop some knowledge on the crowd of hopeful entrepreneurs.

Let’s check out some lessons that Jesse learnt from kitesurfing that you can also take with you as an entrepreneur:

  • No fear of failure.
  • Take risks.
  • The learning never ends.
  • Focus on seeing what you want to do and do it.

Ok sure, these make total sense. Rock on, Jesse!

Here are 3 more lessons from kitesurfing that I’ve discovered on my own.

  1. You could get sand in your ass.
  2. You could get eaten by a shark.
  3. You need a lot of money to be a kitesurfer.

Well I then thought, why should we stop at kitesurfing? Let’s take a look at all the other sports rich people play and see what kind of entrepreneurial gems we can discover inside them.


  • Keep your eye on the hole.
  • ALWAYS wear khakis.
  • Tip your caddy well.


  • Watch for avalanches.
  • There are many slippery slopes.
  • Your goggles may fog up, but don’t panic.


  • A strong backhand can win the game.
  • Always use new balls.
  • Ask daddy for a hotter tennis instructor.

Bungee Jumping

  • Don’t be afraid of jumping. Be afraid of shitting in your pants.
  • Make sure your underwear is clean before you jump.
  • Make sure your underwear is clean AFTER you jump.

I then discovered that even not so rich people sports also have deep lessons for entrepreneurs too!


  • Strike!


  • Goal!


  • Bullseye!


  • Don’t step in shit.

Picking extreme sports is one of the most obvious places to find parallels to the world of entrepreneurship, with risk and fear being the main draws.   We get that being an entrepreneur is hard.  Extreme sports is hard.  Just because they both are hard doesn’t mean you can find insight in them.

Places to look for entrepreneurial insight can be in simple, everyday things.  For example, how about when your parents struggled to save money to send you to school?  What about when you had to start paying rent for the first time?  What happened when you had your first child?

The point is, look closer to home for experiences in your life to draw lessons from.  They don’t all have to be in the barrel of a wave.