A lot of times you hear people say that startups are fad, that the people who start up are doing it because everyone else is doing it(?) and also they just want to appear cool. While I do not completely disagree to this -I have, even in my network, seen a lot of people who simply start up because there’s this stereotypical charisma attached to a founder’s personality – I do have some reservations.
I think the entire ‘startups are fad’ argument can be construed as situational. End of the day, it boils down to why you are starting up. Is it because you are genuinely interested in solving a problem and in the process make a sustainable business out of it? Or are you interested in the attention that you get when you say your friends or family that you run a startup? If you are of the latter type, please pardon the world and shut the fucking venture ASAP. You will do us all a huge favor. And most of all, in doing so, you will do yourself the biggest favor! And if you are of the former type, do not, I say DO NOT, give a fuck to what people around you think and continue doing the awesome thing you are doing. The world needs people like you.
Everyone out there who have been even remotely thinking of starting up or working for one (with sweat equity in mind) needs to understand that starting a business and making it profitable is not an easy job. It’s much easier to get the best possible job out there in the market than building a profitable venture that can be scaled. Believe me when I say that. I have started two companies myself and worked for one more. I have spent more than 7 years of my life trying to make the business sustainable and profitable.
Starting up requires vision, passion, energy, commitment and lot of sweat. You basically start with nothing but just an understanding of a problem and your idea of the solution. What follows is an irony – You started off trying to solve someone else’s problem but you end up facing infinite problems yourself each day – right from hiring, to acquiring customers, to managing the finances. Yea yea, I know your corporate life wasn’t any easy either (You had that asshole of a boss who made you slog your ass off on the new year’s eve) but you were at least getting paid! As a startup founder, in most of the cases, you end up getting ZERO as a salary which basically means you start compromising on everything. You do not get to hit the pub a lot and loosen up, you do not get to buy that fancy pair of glasses, and forget about buying your girl expensive gifts. And in all probabilities, forget about the money, you do not even have time to do all these things. You get what I am trying to say, right? Life as a founder SUCKS!
So, if you come across someone who genuinely understands the pain of running a company and is doing so with a happy face, pat their back; buy them a beer, may be? But if you come across the other breed, kick their butt and help them find a job.
No, startups are not fad.