- You shouldn’t feel comfortable with your meager little dreams.
- You should do a startup.
- You should chase the hockey stick.
- You should go viral.
- You should quit your job and work 90 hour weeks.
- You should be prepared to have everyone think you’re crazy.
- You should feel a manic, blind-eyed devotion to your Great Idea.
- And if you don’t, well, you should use special terminology like “pivot”.
- You should practice your elevator pitch.
- You should work on your deck.
- You should find a cofounder.
- You should learn about angel rounds, Series A, B, C, bridge rounds, and convertible notes.
- You should press the flesh.
- You should hire a team. Write witty job postings on Craigslist. In code.
- You should hire a CxO.
- You should go big or go home.
- You should experience a Liquidity Event.
- You should go back to being an employee at the acquiring company.
- You shouldn’t ask questions.
Well, well. Should you now?
When you’re bricked in on all sides by the same message, it’s time to ask yourself: Who benefits? Who benefits from all this feverish stumping for the magical healing powers of entrepreneurship? Who benefits from the chest-thumping rhetoric of freedom, when the idealized end is yet another fucking job?
In short: Where’s the money?
Find the money, and follow it.
It starts with venture capitalists and other people who bet on startups like they bet on horses. It ends with young people who’ve bought into the dream.
In the middle, it crosses through snake-oil salesmen. It touches journalists. It infects bloggers.
The same old myths about entrepreneurship, repeated, over and over, ad nauseum – repeated, shuffled, turned into top 10 lists, turned into a Cosmo quiz. “Are You a TRUE Entrepreneur?” “10 Signs Your Angel is Bored in the Boardroom” And like Cosmo, it begins as rah-rah troop rallying but ends in the poking of your deepest insecurities. Or as kindly, fatherly advice…from somebody who wants a part of you.
What is truly only one option begins to seem like the only option. It’s repeated so often, from so many different angles, that you start to believe it. It seems like common sense, like your own idea. And that’s why it’s dangerous.