On Aspiring Entrepreneurs

Recently came across 2 interesting arguments that stemmed off from a simple topic of: a few aspiring entrepreneurs (still in college) wants to build a startup.

A: I dont think these kind of founders have any idea how hard, lonely, and painful it is to do a startup.

B: Of course not, but how can they find out without trying and failing?

A:  Investors look for passion because without it, founders are liable to give up at the first hint of difficulty. There are a thousand other college teams who are trying to build the exact same easy app with no significant differentiation.  Why bother?

B: Why bother trying to build a startup? To find out if they have the passion. if they fail but drive on to try more ideas until they find a good one then they do have the passion. If they give up then they’ll go find jobs and will still be better off than those who didn’t even try in the first place.

This is really interesting and you can see how there are always different dimensions of thoughts into a particular topic. In this case, it is the topic of experience vs trying to gain experience. To A because he has been through a lot of things, and have met a lot of startups and would know which startups would make it, giving a “stop and access” advice seemed to be able to cause more good than harm, but for B, obviously he is an advocate of “Just do it” and it is the “experience that matters”, which again, could cause more good than harm, and the learning process would be valuable.

This links back to the topic of nature vs nurture in entrepreneurship, which i wrote about. Again, that is a debatable topic on itself.

So, would you advice for or against aspiring entrepreneurs who are still in college? Do you think one should startup during college and as A puts it: “I dont think these kind of founders have any idea how hard, lonely, and painful it is to do a startup”? Or should they get some industry experience first and should be warned about the difficulties?


2 thoughts on “On Aspiring Entrepreneurs

  1. dmlicht says:

    I think It makes sense to try it out in college because the stakes are way lower. You can still dedicate yourself and struggle through, but you’re less likely to be worried about working full time at the same time to support yourself. Fail now, be happy you failed and that your brain is closer to comprehending all of the little gears that need to lock in with one another for a company to tick properly. That being said, its probably never too late to try. Awesome post!

  2. Jacky says:

    Hi David! Excellent point on lower stakes. Yes I do agree that we should try out and maximize our time during college if we have decided on the road less taken: entrepreneurship and see if there’s a fit and whether its really what we want. =) Cheers! And I’ve read your post on “Romance of Starting up”. Nice piece as well. =)

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