Founders are Overrated, Entrepreneurship is not Sexy.

It is everywhere, every one seems to be doing it. It’s getting that sex appeal for some reason. It is Entrepreneurship.

Upon attending a tech/entrepreneurship conferences I could not help but notice that EVERYONE seems to be a founder/CEO. During the panel discussion on the stage it is so common to see that label under a name. Either that or some venture fund that they are a part of.

I have been emerging myself into this entrepreneurship culture and can’t help to see lot’s of bullshit. Lot’s of businesses that aren’t actually valuable. Founders that do not seem to be cut out for the task. Something that really pisses me off is that it takes some people 20–30 minutes to explain what it is that they actually do. And even after that it is still not clear what problem they are solving!

Businesses derive from 2 things:

  • Problem needed to be solved. Solution is the business.
  • Changes occurring to the status quo because of certain conditions, like creation of a new tech, different market formations, etc. Helping businesses deal with the change and help them transition into the new cycle could be a business. In this way you are either cutting down operational costs for businesses, saving them money, increasing revenue. Or increasing efficiency with the method of how they conduct their affairs.

Many people decide they want to be a founder, they want to lead a company, and then they go on in pursuit to find what it is that they are going to create. I feel like people that do that are doing it for the wrong reasons. They like the social status of being an entrepreneur, they like being in control of teams of people. They do not pursue this path because of an eager need to solve the problem and the feeling that if they do not do it, nobody will.

Entrepreneurship is like having a flame inside you.

First you get frustrated with something, or stumble upon something, hear something. You ignite a spark.

Then your curious nature does not help, it keep on nagging. You cannot get that out of your head. You dig into the problem, whatever it is. More and more sparks start igniting.

Before you know it, you have immersed yourself with this problem, you tell your friends about it, your family, your boyfriend/girlfriend.

Then you start to ignore other things in your life because you are so obsessed with this and feel the burning need to know as much as possible about it. This may lead to some bad consequences. Your marks go down, maybe you spend less time with your family, relationship slip, you lose motivation to do your ordinary tasks and job.

Then you start convincing people that this is an actual problem, if they are crazy (like you) they start following you. Now both of you are working on this problem. Then three people, then four, five, more and more.

You want to give it a shot at solving the problem so you create some sort of a solution. Its crap. You iterate, release it again. You don’t think you can go on any longer.

You get investors involved. More and more comes on the line with the motive and intent of solving this problem. And finally you start seeing some progress. Your solution actually starts working!

Does this sound like something a normal person would want to go through? Of course not! What kind of person would put themselves through this long, rigours, risky process with a super high chance of failure and potentially no real return for your efforts?!

Entrepreneurs are weird in a way.

An entrepreneur needs to have curiosity. They just want to keep learning and learning. That’s how they stumble in front of a problem and just cannot let go of it.

Then they need to have persistence. When you go into a problem deep enough, curiosity is not enough, they need to stick through it.

Then they need to have some sort of communication skills. The better the communication skills, the more chance the entrepreneur has to convince others of their crazy idea and have others follow them into the rabbit whole.

An entrepreneur of course needs to have intelligence. To understand if what they are working on is actually a problem that needs solving, and if the solution they have come up with is actually valid. As well as developing proper business strategy and delegating tasks to their team members. This intelligence is very surprisingly lacked between the community in my opinion.

And the last but not the least, perseverance. Sometime entrepreneurship is like doing a plank for a few years. People are going to tell you that you are wrong, people will leave you, YOU WILL FAIL. At the end its your ability to deal with that failure, and how you carry and address yourself after it.

If you truly have those characteristics, and go through this long and rigorous process, then maybe you have a CHANCE for success.

People that are truly like that are weird and one of a kind. Working for a startup could be an enriching experience because you basically surround yourself with these crazy kind of people. From which you learn and they learn from you.

Another point that I wanted to add, is if the business idea is good, it is clear and is easily explained. Use the following logic for validation:

Here is the problem, here is how I know that this is a problem. Here is the solution to the problem, here is how this actually solves the problem. And these are the outcomes of solving the problem this way.

When you have a hard time explaining it to family and friends, it usually mean one of the three things.
1 — you just don’t know much about it yet, you need to do more research and think about it more.
2 — they might not just get it, if its some sort of tech and a complex industry (although this is the least likely thing to occur in my opinion).
And 3 — it’s actually not good. If you cannot convince close people around you that this is actually a problem and that you have a solution, how are you going to convince customers or businesses to actually go out and spend time and money on it?!

I know I am saying a bunch of basic shi* but SO MANY PEOPLE AVOID THIS COMPLETELY.

Finally, if you do think you have something, maybe dropping everything you are doing is not the best thing to do. Pull the breaks, stay in school, don’t quit your job. Be really careful with this.

Try getting this thing off the floor while still pursuing these full-time things. If you can articulate your solution to a problem, and actually get some market interests and traction while doing it as a side project that is just a HUGE indicator that this thing actually might be useful.

You should only drop things like school and job if that side project is expanding, doing well, getting some interest. And you know that in order to sustain it and expand it, it just requires more of your time and energy. If you were to slow down, it would just fail and the opportunity cost is very appropriate.

Once your idea has legs and starts running, usually after like 6 months to a year, then maybe you should go for it. BUT I would not recommend for you to do it otherwise. Don’t be cocky, don’t think you will be the Bill Gates, or Mark Zuckerberg or Vitalik Buterin. Be humble. Those people are legit one in a few billion. If you think you are too, then you need to get help and pull yourself down to earth.

If you think you have the character traits, previously described. If you are going through the process, that was articulated. If you have convinced at least one person of your vision and have created market interest by doing it on the side. And just spent a shit-tone of time really really thinking about it. Then consider starting a business out of it. Otherwise don’t. Founders are overrated, entrepreneurship is not sexy.

Just trying to figure everything out.