Startups frustrate me. I think we (as Americans especially) have gotten way too complacent with the perception that, given a few simple pre-requisites, there is an assumed ability to create a company from scratch and quickly work our way to profitability within a very short period of time. The thought that we can just take someone who’s good at X, place them with someone who’s good at Y, and let them all roll under the boss who’s good at Z and end up -voila- with a good foundation is simply asinine to me.
As my rant for the day, here’s a short list of the reasons I am generally (but certainly not always) anti-startup:
- Many times, they don’t solve a real problem (“Man, have you ever wanted a necktie made totally out of carbon fiber? That would be SO COOL!”)
- The business cases and ROI models are unrealistic (“I think if we can get $200k to hyper accelerate production, we can sell a million units this year and be cash flow positive in 9 months”)
- Supply chain is extremely complicated but often assumed to be easy (“Surely we can get someone to manufacture our shirts for $1 apiece; can’t we just get the materials from overseas?”)
- Good advertising/PR is very tough to pull off while being genuine and avoiding straight self-promotion (“Hey Facebook! I know we haven’t talked in a while but you should totally buy my AWESOME keychain for $5! Portion of proceeds benefit the save-the-polar-bears project!”)
- Working harder instead of working smarter doesn’t always produce the best results (“Phew, we worked sooooo many hours this month, our company MUST be better for it”)
Alas, I could go on for days. But I won’t. I really don’t loathe the startup mentality. But I do think we as a society have recently gotten a bit too generous with our funding of wild startup initiatives.
Til Next Time,