A question that lingers in the minds of many working professionals, either experienced or freshers, is whether they should build their own startup or not.
A study by Harvard has shown that there are three primary reasons people venture into startups:
An example of the first type of reason is X.com, more popularly known as Paypal. The challenge of transferring money online over large distances was something the founders, Peter Theil and Elon Musk, faced in 1999. They went on to build a team and a product that had a massive impact on digital transformation long before the internet became as mainstream as it is today.
Facebook, on the other hand, was based on a gap in socialization, identified by Mark Zuckerberg. The gap that people can meet and greet online, requiring no physical presence. Before then, social media was there, but Zuckerberg, as you all know by now, reinvented the wheel, birthing the mammoth that is now Meta.
Starting up due to Love for a particular industry is often the outcome of creative thinkers, who start their own firm, with the key investment being their creativity.
For any of the three examples above, parallels, driven by the principles of adding value to end consumers and growing wealth, exist.
At MyPluto, we segregate the startup founders into two buckets: Billionaires 1 & 2
These are the ones who experiment right from their college days. Most of the time, they connect to the third reason for building a startup- creativity. They love a specific industry and really want to make their mark on it. The biggest advantage college students have is that of low liabilities and tons of resources.
A downside is that it's often the first time that they are building anything, and as such, they often make a lot of mistakes, which might hamper the growth or development of their service/product.
Having a reasonable grasp of product development processes, marketing, design, compliance, etc isn't something that is expected at college level. But these things are extremely important
These are folks who have worked in a particular industry for at least 3-4 years and have identified a gap, which forms the genesis of their startup vision. The gap can be something small, like optimization of a particular sales/marketing/manufacturing process, or building an entirely different operating and business model for the same industry.
These folks are quite well suited for a startup, having prior professional experience, knowledge of how things work, soft skills, team building, and management, etc. They are often taken more seriously than B1 and are often good at vital components of a business, which can range from technical expertise, Marketing, design, compliance, and so forth.
Across all the three reasons and two buckets, a thing that's common is the endpoint. The startup works or it doesn’t. In either case, the founder benefits a lot. For he is someone who has learned real-life lessons, has donned multiple hats, has built a team, a product, a business stream, managed the branding, marketing, etc. These are all the things the founding team is actually expected to do and with this experience, any founder becomes a valuable asset to the organization.
The question, should you start up, is highly qualitative in nature. Is the problem statement you identified big enough? Do you have any liabilities? Would you be the one who can wear multiple hats for at least 1 year of the startup? Do you have co-founders who are with you on your vision? Do you have enough money in the bank that can sustain you for at least 6months? Do you have industry knowledge of the problem you are solving? A founder needs to be honest about the above questions and gauge independently the feasibility.
We have met folks who are in their 40s and 50s who regret not working on a startup in their 20s. There are folks in their 20s who think they should build a startup once their life is settled off, probably in their late 30s or 40s. And then there are 19-year-olds who think they should start up after some experience. There is no right or wrong age, it's just a moment and the scenarios that help in making the decision.
To all the folks reading this, take that leap and build something amazing!!..
Also published here.