Last week, Rob Go from NextViewVentures explained why in his opinion people should think twice before starting a company: too much hype, harder to stand out, we are at the end of one innovation cycle and at the beginning of a new one which is less favorable to unexperienced and non-technical founders.
So to the question What to do instead of starting a company? he answers: Join the winningest company you can find in a sector you care about with people you like. Should you agree or not, this recommendation has its pros and cons but one can’t come to a decision easily. The most important lesson to learn comes at the end:
I think there is just the inherent satisfaction of being a part of a company that is making a big dent in the world. We’d all like to be the person who started that company, but there is a huge amount of pride to be had in being a contributor, even if you aren’t a leader. Also, scale and success give companies the right to do something meaningful. I often hear founders of failed companies lament “I realized that I just wasn’t that excited about X, Y, or Z market.” Well, the truth is, most people probably aren’t that excited about about helping merchants process credit cards (until Square) or the apartment rental industry (until Air BnB) or local advertising (until FourSquare), or the private car industry (until Uber) etc etc. Being part of a successful company that is shaping the future of an industry is usually inherently interesting and motivating, and it’s a great way to spend a few years of your life until the time is right for you to start a company that will do the same.
It’s a very interesting analysis as he doesn’t try to give a clear cut and general solution applicable to everybody. Instead he takes into account the personality of people who could be disposed to start a company, noting that founding a startup is not necesseraly the best fit for them. The true concern one should have is to make a dent in the world. Mark Bivens came to the same conclusion: People need to feel a part of something bigger and joining a startup could be the best answer to this feeling. It will never be be too late to found its company after such an experience, on the contrary it can only make things easier.