Hacker News new | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit login
Entrepreneurs, not investors, kill startups (mystartuphas30daystolive.tumblr.com)
51 points by charlieirish 1545 days ago | hide | past | web | 20 comments | favorite

When I read things like "it was teaching me to be an opportunist rather than a visionary" and "I thought that I could try to disrupt an industry" I can't help but think that there's more to this story than just an inability to stick to one's guns.

I empathize with the author, and I have no doubt that in retrospect he may have legitimate reason to question the quality of at least some of the advice he received from his investors, but at the same time, in my experience, most successful businesses aren't built by those trying to be visionaries and disrupt industries either.

I think that the word visionary gets taken to mean, someone who can see and gap in a market/process/product and fill it. Rather than, someone who has a vision and is driven to see it through to completion.

I have to admit I learned something here: getting investors can be just as bad for the business itself as many acquisitions, and it's much worse for the founders.

In my opinion, if you're sitting on a profitable company, with a sustainable lifestyle, in a market that really can continue to expand, keep others out unless they let you put 10 years' profits in your own pocket first.

It is quite important to realize before taking angel money that angels are like VCs in one important respect - they need a liquid exit of some kind within a few years, generally via an acquisition. This may not be what you had in mind for your future if you want to build a lasting standalone company. Have a conversation with prospective angels at some point and discuss this scenario. Ways you could make it work for them in the absence of a liquid exit are via dividend payments when your company is sufficiently cash flow positive, or by buying some/all of their share outright when you can afford to do that.

Once angels are ok with that, they'll be less likely to give you colored advice which may be oriented (even if just subconciously) towards getting your company sold pronto.

When my startup went down, I felt i was left alone, I felt betrayed by everyone, including cofounders and investors, even more so than this guy. But here's what I did: I shut up and spent most of my time making sure my co-founders and employees suffer the least. I really don't get the point of anonymously broadcasting your rant about your own team and the investors. That's not cool.

this guy has a lot of time on his hands for someone who has 30 days to save their business.

I think 'crashing into the ground' indicates it's a done deal. No saving is possible, so what's left is talking about it. I'm thankful for that much, at least.

It's incredible how many successful entrepreneurs have become followers, think the latest trends are the ones on techcrunch etc.

There are very few entrepreneurs left who still think for themselves and are in for the interest of others and not for themselves.

The vast majority has become what investors have been forever, followers.

Interesting argument. I guess he's trying to emphasize the importance of selecting the right investor/ accelerator. Many startups see VC investment as confirmation of what they are doing is right (thanks to all the media hype) after which they may tend to forget basic principles.

These are interesting, but for some reason they read a little too much like AA self help books. Perhaps because it's difficult to be informative and vague at the same time.

Can we keep these off of HN ? They're whiny, sensationalist drivel that's the opposite of the hacker ideals the HN community was started on.

Hacker ideals? Really? Sharing experiences is fundamental in building knowledge and anticipating the future. I enjoy these 'whiny, sensationalist drivel' because as a coFounder of a noob startup I don't hear enough of failed/failing startups. Instead all I hear is 'chest pounding howls' on why it's so cool to do a startup, seek VCs, join an incubator and make a killer exit. I welcome a different story. Especially a story everyone can learn from.

Completely agree.

well said

Can we stop being negative please? This guy is definitely NOT whiny (give or make a long, high-pitched complaining cry or sound) and the level of sensationalism he's transmitting goes with the subject matter - plus it's apropos for marketing.

I theorize nobody here, at least those doing a startup, really want to think about the possible failure of their company at some point. I appreciate him documenting his thoughts as he goes through this all-too-common process.

Humans learn through a variety of means, including other's failures. Your perception of 'ideals' here feels like you are trying to skew the topics away from this means of learning. And, it's contrary to what appear to be common hacker ideals, which include:

- Sharing

- Openness

- Decentralization

- Free access to computers

- World Improvement

"whiny" means to complain in a childish way. Complaining about not being followed on twitter by investors is childish, especially when the author should be doing the adult thing and own up to the company's employees what's going on and what their options are. They put a lot of faith in the founder and with that comes the responsibility to treat them fairly.

Having views of only successful startups on HN will lead to select bias. I would prefer to see some articles here of the startups going through rough patches since they are so under-reported.

Censorship is the opposite of a hacker ideal.

Well, you could always think of the guy's question as to do with whether the reputation system is actually working properly?

I have mixed feelings too. But I'm still interested in the story...

Applications are open for YC Winter 2018

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | DMCA | Apply to YC | Contact