Fundings, Acquisitions, Success Stories.
There is no wonder why the startup scene appears to be so glamorous to every college kids who dream of becoming the next Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg. Well, 5 years ago, I was a 20 year old ‘college kid’ who started my first company just because I wanted to start a company!
So the real question is “Should you start a startup in your 20s?”.
My answer is neither NO nor YES. It depends on you. It’s your choice.
But, there are some factors that you should consider before jumping into the world of entrepreneurship while in college, or right after college without any experience.
1. You don’t have any experience.
Passion is great. But it is not enough to build a business. You should have a clear idea on why you’re building a company. What is the purpose? If passion is the only answer, you’re likely to fail.
A startup must solve a problem. How will you solve a problem if you don’t know what are the problems experienced by people?
So, When you start from college, most probably it’ll be a B2C idea. Because you don’t have any experience in business industry and thus no idea about the problems experienced in those particular industries. And you’ll code an app yourself or with a co-founder thinking it will become the next Instagram.
Sorry to dissappoint you but there is a 99% probability that you’ll fail.
2. It’ll take over your life.
You’re just starting one of the most amazing period in your life. This is the time when you are free from all kind of liabilities. You can just do whatever you want. You can travel, you can enjoy time with friends and family.
If you start a company at this time, be prepared to sacrifice all those beautiful things that you could do only in your 20s. Startup consumes a major portion of your time. You are the boss and you have the freedom. I agree. But you should breath and live your business. Each and everytime. Without you, it’ll fail.
Think if you want to carry such a very big responsibility on your shoulders at this age.
3. You’ll fail many times. Can you handle the emotions?
In the begining, starting up looks very easy.
You have an ideaYou build the productYou get customersYou hire 10/50/100 people.
Trust me, 1 & 2 is easy. But you’ll most likely won’t pass the 3rd one. Answer to the question “Why?” is beyond the scope of this article. There are many reasons. I’ll just answer it in a simple sentence — “You didn’t make something people want”
So, You’re likely to fail many times, experiment many ideas during the journey. Can you handle this emotional rollercoaster? Trust me it’s not easy as you think. You will feel the heartache manytimes.
If your answer is “I’m passionate. I’m motivated. I can fail as many times”. Great! You need that courage. But, just think about this one too — “How many times you could experiment until you run out of money?”.
4. Luck Matters
This is one of the most asked questions. Do you need luck to be succesful? Well, the answer is kinda true. It comes in different ways. Sometimes in the form of an investor, sometimes in the form of a huge unpredicted market growth, or as a big customer.
But don’t be disappointed. Luck is something that you cannot control. But we can increase the chances of being lucky. How? By doing our part. By experimenting several times and by knocking all doors that might help us.
But it's all upto you!
Yes, Just think if you really want to start a company right after college. Do you really have an entrepreneur in you? Or are you more likely to be successful working in another company? Only you know.
This article is not meant to discourage anyone. But to explain some “real” facts about starting a company in your 20s. I just wanted to let you know the dark side that nobody will tell you. If you really want to start a company in some point of your life, join a startup first, learn how it works. Try to work closely with customers. Earn some money and experience that you can use as “fuel” for your future startup which will increase your chance of success.
All the best!