TL;DR: I'm on a mission to power 2MM new entrepreneurs in 2022 and I'd appreciate if you checked out the linked video and shared it with anyone thinking of doing a startup.
I love startups, have built many (Uphold, Airtm, Cadoo, most recently), and along the way have marveled at how haters (scoffers, eye-rollers, nit-pickers) there are whenever an entrepreneur attempts to build something new.
I think it's because most people stifle their souls/true selves in order to conform to the status quo, and so entrepreneurs register as both a threat to stability (i.e. "disruptive") and a painful reminder that some people don't bury their hearts' desires in exchange for security. Successful entrepreneurs get the most hate as PG recently pointed out in a tweet, and I think it's because of the cognitive dissonance they cause in those who never dared.
Despite all the unicorns and famous founders, entrepreneurship is still considered by most to be irrational, weird, and threatening. It certainly is in my family and amongst the people I know. In this framing, some people (a small minority) are entrepreneurs, as some are left-handed or have perfect pitch. But most are not, and that's for the good.
Does this resonate with any of you? I'm curious to hear your thoughts.
I'm on a mission to change all that with Slyk (slyk.io) and Slykigai, a philosophy of external alignment with community and the market via entrepreneurship, inspired by the ancient Japanese concept of ikigai and the Venn Diagram of Purpose.
The product combines short video (for pitching/selling) with crypto/fiat rails for payment, and a private digital reward wallet network (each a sub-net of the SlykPay network).
You can sell anything, reward your networks for bringing you clients (social marketing rewards) and sales (referral rewards) and get paid/pay-out anyway you want (Venmo to BTC).
I agree with Naval Ravikant that the internet has vastly expanded the potential careers that are possible (and that not many have realized this yet).
With Slyk and Slykigai I want to make entrepreneurship at least as inspiring and accessible as yoga.
Part of it is making it really easy/low risk to launch an online business and reward people for bringing clients (every startup founder knows the importance of a tight referral program).
Building Airtm I saw how people jump at an opportunity to make money online and how crypto enables over-the-top money connected to every other money network.
But the better mousetrap also needs a better meme-trap (product + distribution), which is why we created Slykigai to transform how people think about wealth creation, their talent stack, and the community to which they want to contribute. We also created a free online program to discover, productize, and power your life's purpose via an online business.
We launched our private beta in Cuba (a place I know pretty well from non-fiction reporting/writing) because 1. Cubans are desperate for ways to monetize their talents and 2. Entrepreneurship is basically illegal in Cuba. So I knew they 1. would tolerate a buggy beta product and 2. would have even more internal friction against launching a startup than the average gringo, a good test of Slykigai's efficacy.
Over the past 6 months we've brought thousands through the Slykigai Program and powered hundreds of active Cuban Slyks. Not bad. Not Shopify, but a start.
A Slyk is an internet infomercial for whatever you are selling. Slykigai is a philosophy of soul/self commerce.
Maybe it sounds weird to think of a soul/self needing an internet infomercial, but I hope that
it will eventually be a path for millions to build sustainable fulfilling lives.
I think we can turn lots of haters into creators.