One thing I'd like to hear more about are people who took "secure" jobs for a period of time out of college and then jumped ship for a startup once they had some money saved up. I feel like most people coming out of college are very risk averse, so they'd rather get a guaranteed salary over a startup with uncertain prospects.
I'm on the "secure" path at the moment to pay off student loans between my wife and I, and we just had a child. My obligations are more than paid for and things are stable, which is good because my family life is happy and fun and I value that highly, but it means that my risky endeavors have to be on-the-side and bootstrapped because doing stuff that's likely to fail now puts 3 people at risk instead of 1. I don't particularly enjoy the jobs I've had, and that gives me motivation to do things for myself.
But I'd be stupid enough to go for it now. They can come after me for all I've got and get pretty much nothing. In the end if you don't make any income, they have nothing to garnish. Naive view of things for sure.
True, but student debt can only be discharged in very limited circumstances and living under the thumb of a debt-collector for your entire life seems like one of the worst choices you could make.
Even with debt, our quality of life is higher than anyone else in our family has ever been, it's been a great enabler of upwards mobility. My wife came from near-poverty and I'm from a lower-middle class household, and we're now solidly in upper-middle class earnings and this is still a relatively low point of our careers. The debt is totally worth it, it's just an additional thing to manage and weights your life choices towards certain things.
I found it shocking that those two debt types are on the same level. The student loan one is probably limited to Federal/State funded loans. I imagine if you pay your College bill with a MasterCard then you could get around this.
Pretty much all you can get rid of is unsecured consumer debt. A modern bankruptcy is just a way to get out from under your credit cards (or health care debts).
As i look back, the only real tangible return i ever got back in these 8 years of is that I met my lovely wife.
(By the way, kudos on that level of self-discipline; I would be extremely happy to accomplish that much with 8 years of corporate salary.)
After 3 years as a startup employee (and learning everything about both technical and business side of things), I'm founding a company now.
For the same reason one might go to school, you'll rarely be disappointed if you invest in yourself. My advice to graduates interested in startups is to work in their field of interest until their learning slows down, then to move on to bigger and better things. By starting a tech business, your skills in business and technology will grow tremendously, and will continue to pay dividends.
Obviously not the only way, though.
Don't get me wrong... That time has some valuable lessons that will help you constantly for the rest of your life. But it's not easy. If you go into it with your eyes open, you shouldn't regret it.
my girlfriend has been very supportive. the only thing she asked, is that we still continue to travel/backpack, at least once a year - which I of course "granted" her (while she's granting me with the rent .... :)
But I think you're right. MOST younger folks have no obligations. Relatively few older folks have actually managed to keep their burn rate low and accumulate wealth.
Failure is a part of success, but only when taken in the right quantities.
Great presentation, wish there was a video version too.
Okay, now I know I don't want to use this guy's products...
There's no point of spending a lot of money on a professional developer until you have validated that your business idea has any potential. That's especially true in most early startup where money is really scarce.
And even if you don't plan to be a technical founder, it's quite a good idea to at least could program a little bit. It will make it much easier to communicate with developers and understand technical issues.
Now, if you want to make the next "To Do" app, a dev can be fine, but if you want to do something useful, you will need a biz guy.
I mean, this thinking from the dev side is exactly why companies today are full of crappy products (SAP, Windows, etc.).
My point is that this is stupid, really stupid. There are tons of problems in the business world and they are tackled with old software from the '90 (Windows, Office, SAP, etc.). Web technologies have not even touched the corporate world.
Devs will never get the potential behind business problems because they hardly know about them. They need business people, they really do. And the business world needs them, because things are getting crazy, mining data with Excel...
Programming is not the only thing that constitutes "getting your hands dirty," i.e. the "real work", and that anyone who thinks this is completely overlooking the importance of business principles.
If you want to be an awesome business guy, learn how to code so you can talk with your devs more effectively. But for the sake of your project don't try to replace them :-)
The other thing is that in tech startups, being the "crunch the number and shit slides" guy can be quite frustrating. Knowing how to put up a prototype yourself is pretty satisfying!
Observation: the topic of "think mobile and platforms" yes, but they're a plus (not the core of the thing.) Besides, relying too much in platforms are a bad idea (adds to the equation some risks parameters that are out of your control.)
The best is to start with the epicenter and iterate often keeping happy the people that will leverage you to ramen profitable.
Lastly, the epicenter should be human centered.
the talk was for last year + mba students at HEC, and most of them never started / worked at a startup.
Did you make it yourself or was it done by someone else?