It's important just to do something, to start and to carry on.
Even if it will get very hard it's the most satisfying experience you'll never regret—you learn, you do, you make decisions. Looking back every single day I spent as an employee was a waste of time.
You list power, status or passion as possible why's. Which leads me to believe you misunderstand what true motivation really is. Wanting to create something beautiful for the sake of beauty, to contribute in a meaningful way, to add instead of substract. These are transcending human endeavours. Status, power, money; just side-effects to the medicin that is purpose.
Even you've had a reason for pushing yourself to create. Perhaps it was that in the back of your mind you believed that you deserved to live a better lifestyle.
It's your vision of the future that moves you to act. The belief that things can be different, and that you are able to effect that difference. Having a why isn't important?
Having a why is the goal.
Money, power, passion, and status are wholly human motivations available to anyone. The desire for beauty for the sake of beauty really does transcend the far more practical goals of majority of people, and places as an ideal something completely abstract.
Now, I wouldn't call it "true" motivation because that'd lead us down the angle of a "no true scotsman" discussion.
Yes, doing a startup for the wrong reasons is totally reckless and will end in tears. Chasing money and fame its a recipe for failure.
However taking the risk on startup without a reason or purpose will equally end badly.
Starting a startup is hard therefore you need to accept reality and pursue a purposeful reason.
It's the experience, it's the way and not the goal.
Discussions around doing or not doing a startup are just excuses for oneself to not start something because it's not the right idea, not the right time, not the right co-founders, not the right setup and suddenly these people are 50, missed everything and are full of fear loosing their crappy job.
Lessons learned and battle scars are important but why not make it meaningful?
Why kill yourself for five years on a problem or pursuit you are not 100% passionate about?
I will kill myself for 5 years on those ideas once I've made money with a photo sharing type idea.
Or, you can just wither away in your cube farm for the rest of your life.
People that would not do a startup because they are told "don't do a startup" are precisely the people that should not be doing a startup. The details of the argument against doing a startup almost do not matter.
If you've traveled the world (I haven't) you are definitely going to feel more comfortable picking up and just going to another foreign city. You feel confident about that even if you, in general, lack confidence. I'm sure I would have more anxiety than you would even with my confidence that might cause me not to take that journey.
I do agree with the "told don't do a startup" and listening most likely don't have the personality to overcome many of the obstacles that are involved.
This sums up my problem with the whole 'change the world with your startup' philosophy. What does 'change the world' even mean? It is a fluffy, nebulous term - the startup thinker's equivalent of 'increasing synergy by leveraging strategic partnerships'. If you like that flavour of Kool Aid, great, drink up!
Github has changed the world by making it easier to find and share interesting code. Balsamiq has changed the world by making it easier to create mockups. I want to change the world by making it easier to run your own game server .
None of these things will go down in history as revolutionary, life-changing ideas at a global scale. But they can improve the lives of a subset of humanity, while letting their owners solve interesting problems and (hopefully) earn a living at the same time. That, to me, is a good enough reason to do a startup.
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The fundamentals behind starting a startup should be orders of magnitude stronger than that. You'll know if you got them.
While I think the startup experience should be tried by anyone (and by the way, I don't think startup life sucks, but it is hard), I hope it won't turn into an international trend where every "social" site equals a multi-million $ business.
But nothing good can come out when people jump into it without a proper preparation & plan.
Thinking again - he's had a successful startup and no doubt a hell lot of people ask him advice and all these points he gave are for those kind of people. Though he didn't highlight it, he said not to do it for the wrong reasons. Right and wrong are sometimes relative, right? Anyways, apart from this advice and he calling the Evernote a second brain, the other info about how he saw confidence in his business and how important it is for customers to stay than pay were really useful. Unfortunately people are talking more about the beginnings than endings. May be he's fed up with a lot of people asking for advice and this is how he publicly declared his answers for such people.
If you think you could be just as happy working for a large company, you should probably go do so. Entrepreneurship is tough, and if you can find satisfaction from a job that doesn't have the monumental downsides that doing a startup does, you're probably better off steering clear. If that's not the case, and if for whatever reason you can't imagine yourself working anywhere other than a startup, do it. Don't feel like you need to tell people that they're doing it for the wrong reasons, or that you need to justify your own reasoning to those sorts of people.
"I’ve narrowed it down, really boiled it down, to one core piece of advice. If I can only say one thing, and I don’t know you any better, it’s: don’t. Don’t do it. Seriously."
The key part here is "If I can only say one thing, and I don't know you any better" -- for MOST people, starting your own company is not a good idea! Especially if you'd be doing it for any of the misconceptions that Libin outlines.
However, it is odd that Libin chose such an approach given that he was speaking at a conference with a big emphasis on web start ups.
I dropped out of a regular job in a design company after half a year and will never return to something like that.
For me a startup is a challenge to do things better, smarter than established companies.
Phil says the only valid reason to do a startup is to "change the world."
you can do it too http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NBCz9XE57LY