There are Many Different Paths to Building a Business (aka Startups)

Unfortunately there is way too much hype about VC-funding and Unicorns. It’s complete crap.

I also have issues with DHH & the Basecamp view that bootstrapping businesses is the only way. Both are extremist views which seem TOO prevalent these days.

I have this conversation all the time with founders. Everything depends on what their life goals are and what type of business model they are building (see Post on 4 VC Fundable Biz Models Venture Fundable Businesses). You don’t have to create a multi billion dollar Unicorn company if you don’t want to. There is nothing wrong with building a business that churns out cash flow and provides a good living for yourself and your family. (Aka “Launchpad Biz” The “Launchpad” Business Concept).

There is such a tremendous amount of context and every founder’s situation is really different. Yet it’s so easy to get caught up in the media hype and celebration of unicorn/decacorn wins.

As I wrote before, founders should remember why they started. I think if they do, they will remember that most of the time it was either through curiosity or an intense itch to fix something. For others, it was an intense need for autonomy and freedom in being one’s own boss. Or in some cases “lack of options” as my friend Steli Efti would say.

In fact, i think one of the main lessons of 2020 is that everyone needs to build out some kind of business on the side. One of my favorite Gurus Ed Latimore wrote:

Covid has exposed, more so in the United States than many other parts of the world, how much your value is based on the utility you provide.

I don’t expect everyone to become a digital entrepreneur, but basic knowledge of how to monetize your skills and abilities, both online and in person, will go a long way in preparation for the future. Colleges and universities won’t help. In fact, this year they have taken in millions of dollars from people who still think the old world is coming back and then — at the last minute — pulled a bait and switch and put all the classes online. This change, in effect, is no different than you paying $50k a year to learn from YouTube.

No one is coming to save you. If you doubted that before this year, I bet you don’t anymore.

You only have one life and as time is fleeting, why would you build a business that is not authentic to yourself. Building a business is not always fun, and heck of alot of work. But the whole point of it is, that at least you should enjoy (most of) the process of building your startup. It’s the best game on the planet if you do so.

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Ever curious: Tsundoku, Reader, Aspiring Shokunin, World traveller, Investor & Tech/Media exec interested in almost everything! www.marvinliao.com