Should I Start a Startup?

The short answer is no. If you read about successful young entrepreneurs who started from scratch and became a billionaire in the short term, you must realize that such is often survivorship bias. However, is succeeding in doing something from scratch possible? Yes! There are no limitations if we understand how things work in the real world. What, then, is the inconsistency or misunderstanding? Let’s try to figure it out.

First, define what you want to do – a startup or business. I mean, do you realize your motivation to do something? Do you want to launch something because other people are? Are you willing to make money? Would you like to change the world? Would you like to work on something like a scientist? Are you ready never to succeed, or do you want to see results in a month?

People think they can find an idea or a niche good enough to start a business. However, you can’t figure out an idea or niche just in theory. Rather, you must realize what it is due to your life or professional experience. So why does it work for others? Who are these others? What do you know about them?

I know a 25-year-old multimillionaire who succeeded in one year. Wait, no. He started writing code in school and did this daily. For these eight years, he practiced for thousands of hours, and then yes, he made it in one year. However, this example is survivorship bias.

Most success stories come from working for corporations or family businesses for years, becoming professionals in their field, accumulating capital, and realizing what they could improve. That is why most successful entrepreneurs are 30–50 years old. However, this does not mean young people can’t do business. It’s about hard work and understanding how things work.

Most businesses fail, but not because there is not enough money or because they do not understand the market, business processes, and so on. Most die because they give up on what they started. This is a paradox, you say? No, this is a consequence of everything said above. Money and experience—we will return to these important things in the next issue. For now, I’m talking about fundamental and existential mistakes.

Here is another paradox. Even if you know what you like to do, you may do it incorrectly. We think we need to do something better than others so people will hunt for our products or services. Well, yes and no. We must provide high-quality services, but we must also understand how to sell and to whom.

Being able to sell means that you can explain to yourself and others why your product or service is important and why someone might need it. In most cases, people buy what they don’t need anyway. I do not encourage that you exploit this, but someone may sell something unnecessary while, even if it’s necessary, your product may not sell. With practice, you will better understand what you are doing and what must be changed. You learn and become a professional through that learning.

Why does this happen? Because everyone’s critical needs are already satisfied. This means we need to improve what exists already, thereby making people’s lives better. This is why the product is secondary and communications are primary. It also answers why you can’t come up with a good idea just by sitting and thinking.

Let’s start over. Should I start doing something, or is it all useless? Of course, and immediately. However, you first need to realize who you are, where you are, and what you need to do to achieve your goals. I hope you have them, but we will discuss them in the following issues. This is a separate, big topic. However, it does not mean that you should drop everything and start doing something new until you answer all your questions.

The main problem is that most people are paralyzed by the fear of admitting their inexperience, learning, and starting to do something. To begin buying equipment or hiring specialists is not to start a business. Rather, answering questions, defining goals, setting goals for yourself, and beginning to work every day, hard, no matter what, is the path that will lead you to success.

Good news: There are a lot of ways how to start. Next week, I will talk about exact topics, approaches, and tools. This first post aims to sow the seed and get you to think about your first steps before you start imitating fashion. This is a way to realize what I have gone through and convey my experience of successes and defeats.