Entrepreneurship has become too fashionable

It used to be that people who ventured with startups were hardcore entrepreneurs, those who did it out of necessity or because the idea of having a college degree or a successful career was in some cases not even an option. Many times what drove people to start companies in those days was a strong belief in something and the urge to make a difference or simply the need to survive. Today, entrepreneurship has become too fashionable; a large number of students coming out of college or people working at boring jobs are taking a stake at entrepreneurship and sometimes for the wrong reasons.

The fact that being an entrepreneur is very popular these days makes it hard to differentiate hardcore entrepreneurs that are trying to make a difference in this world or their own life from the ones that are in it because it is cool and popular. Unfortunately, the startup ecosystem is filled with many people who are creating startups and working on ideas for the wrong reasons such as: becoming wealthy, to be famous (or internet famous), avoiding working in a regular job, etc… and there is nothing wrong with any of these as long as the passion is there to make it happen. If the entrepreneur is not truly driven by something, then it creates a problem because it is hard to filter out these wannabe entrepreneurs from hardcore entrepreneurs which for the most part are trying to build a company from nothing knowing that it will take lots of effort, hard work, consistency, sacrifices, patience and lots of luck. Having entrepreneurship be so popular these days also creates lots of opportunities because there are many people drag into the startup world looking to start or join one; unfortunately this also makes finding the right people incredible hard and it creates noise in the startup ecosystem.

Things have gotten easier and more cost-effective for people wanting to jump into entrepreneurship and that is great for our communities, cities and our country in general. Unfortunately this has made many people believe that it is easy to become an entrepreneur and thus we have lots of uncommitted, not hard-working people throwing ideas around and many times getting lucky and gaining the attention of investors, customers and media when in reality they just don’t have what it takes. Even worst, many other people are benefiting from the popularity of entrepreneurship and startups to make money out of people by selling them “tools” and “secrets” that will allegedly help them become successful entrepreneurs, this is just wrong.

Startups have a very low chance of succeeding in fact, that is both known and well documented, click here to read an article from Business Insider about this where they found out that about 93% of the companies accepted by Y Combinator will eventually fail. Y Combinator and other accelerators are having a very hard time trying to select the real entrepreneurs from this ever-increasing pool of wannabe entrepreneurs. And this might the reason many of these accelerators keep saying that what they really care about is the “people” and not the “idea”, it all makes sense now – doesn’t?

Hardcore entrepreneurs with bad ideas are not a bad thing as the idea can always be improved or changed completely. I n the other hand, a wannabe entrepreneur with a good idea will more likely fail and give up because of the lack of passion, commitment, motivation, etc… eventually they either don’t execute well or just give up.

I am not a successful entrepreneur yet, I like to think of myself as a connector helping people connect with others so they can build out that great idea, I run a meetup where I have been connecting people since 2010 because it feels good to help when you can. It is very motivating to see people wanting to create something or be part of something bigger than themselves. These people work hard, have ideals, know what they want and nothing will stop them until they get there, these are the hardcore entrepreneurs I am talking about. We need more of these people now and in the future, these are the people who make things happen and go on to build companies that generate jobs and changes lives in many ways, inside and outside of the companies they create.

Think hard, really hard about becoming an entrepreneur and do it if you really have what it takes and are committed to it. If you decide you don’t want to after all, that is fine too! there are many great jobs out there in need of people with skills and talent, and there is a lot of money to be made at these jobs as well. The worst thing you can do is to play entrepreneurship when you know you are not ready or committed to lots of work without pay, long hours, and many failures.

If you are unsure about what it takes to be an entrepreneur then don’t, please go find a job, and help hardcore entrepreneurs a bit by not being part of that noise. Entrepreneurship is a hard thing, it was never intended to be fashionable.

7 Thoughts

  1. I do think that some people may need to try entrepreneurship to work out that they don’t have what it takes, and in the scheme of things it is a genuinely attractive option. If things don’t work out, they may even have made enough contacts to get a job in that industry.

    Entrepreneurship being fashionable is a problem. Those that have the power to change the world, and choosing not to is more of a sin- the “tragedy of wasted minds”.

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  2. This is in fact a very interesting insight: I recently met up with a not-yet-retired entrepreneur who made lots of money 40 or 50 years ago and is turning an angel now because he wants back into the excitement. We discussed the mid career gap where people have established a career and cannot afford to just quit and start a company because they have to feed their families.

    He agreed on these lost opportunities, but added, from the view of an angel, he sees people with sacrificed a lot are most comitted. Even working a day job and sacrificing any spare time he saw as one of those filters to tell whether a company might turn out successful.

    This is in fact quiet interesting as the vast majority of all startups today are founded by people just exiting college and not, yet entered the workforce. They essentially have nothing to lose and just extent their college life for a year or so.

    However, reality is that the later groups has much higher chances of raising capital as they work dedicated on their idea opposed to the former group who have limited time as they compete with competing goals like maintaining a day job to feed that family. Though, I would argue, those people who have been around the block for some time also have learned down to road and know about market needs and in all likelihood have a vast network which they can explore for customers and advisors. They usually do much poorer when it comes to raising capital as they do not have much to show for, no flashy Web sites, no mockups posted all over the Web, no media hype which takes time to build, just a solid plan on how to make money.

    But it is the hype and buzz which moves you ahead. And that is besides passion and the talent to build big organizations, develop successful products, and find paying customers – people who understand how to create it, are the winners, at least in the early stages. If I would make an educated guess, you will find a strong correlation between the 3% who can stay afloat and actually bringing with them mire than hype, but the right passion, talents, and skills.

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