To start or not to start

Marc Andreessen (he of Netscape fame), posted yesterday on reasons Not to do a Startup. It makes for great reading, and it made me think about why I decided to go down this path.Marc begins with covering some of the positives of a start-up environment:

  1. The opportunity to be in control of your own destiny
  2. The opportunity to create something new
  3. The opportunity to have an impact on the world
  4. The ability to create your ideal culture and work with a dream team of people
  5. Money

While my motives have ebbed and flowed with time, my primary motivations are a healthy dose of 1, a dash of 3, and a side serve of 5.

This quote from the article sums me up perfectly:

you get to succeed or fail on your own, and you don’t have some bozo telling you what to do. For a certain kind of personality, this alone is reason enough to do a start-up.

My career history is marked by “nose bleed pace” rises up the corporate chain, followed by spectacular flame outs. I would rise just to the point where I either completely fecked up, or hit an internal executive who didn’t think it was up to me be explaining why their particular strategy was a pile of poo. I’ve never been sacked (perhaps I wasn’t trying hard enough), but I’ve seen the writing on the wall twice now.

To quote Andreessen again, in a post on hiring right:

Driven people don’t tend to stay long at places where they can’t succeed, and just because they haven’t succeeded in the wrong companies doesn’t mean they won’t succeed at your company-if they’re driven.

True words indeed.

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