I am currently taking an entrepreneurship class and while the goal of the class is to teach us how to start a company from scratch, I feel that the class has actually diminished my appreciation for the startup world.
In today’s world, startups have the same mysticism and romanticism that the wild west had, that the great frontier had, that war used to have, and the same romanticism that has continuously captured our nations hopes and aspirations. The story of a startup founder has almost become synonymous with that of the American Dream. A man gone from rags to riches through hard work and technical skills, through daring acts and an undying perseverance to overcome any obstacle. This is the myth of the startup founder.
This entrepreneurship class has wounded this golden aura of the startup world. With the constant inundation from numbers like 1 in 1000 ideas truly work, that 99% of startups fail, and that creating a company has more pitfalls than the highways we drive on, the class has slowly conditioned us to avoid going down that path. If you know the perils that lie ahead, why in your right mind would you undertake the wretched road? Wouldn’t you take the safer easier option and work for someone else?
I was reading a Paul Graham blog post a few days ago, and he brought up the fact that good ideas come from a wide variety of inputs being somehow uniquely organized within one’s brain. He said that entrepreneurship classes help you do the easiest part of creating something wonderful, the logistics. What they take away from your education is the opportunity to spend that time doing something else, something that introduces you to different topics and inputs. In his opinion, taking an entrepreneurship course is one of the least entrepreneurial things you can do, because it does not help you get any closer to that goal.
Perhaps, it is best not to chase after starting a company, but to chase after finding a passion. It is the passion that will drive the idea and the idea that will grow into a company, not the other way around.
Till next time.