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Why do most young startup aspirants perceive entrepreneurship to be jazzy and glamorous?

So entrepreneurship like everything is trending pretty hot across social media. Million dollar deals and billion dollar evaluations are the talk of the day. Entrepreneurs and investors are shaping up the global capitalistic ecosystem of the world. Gargantuan amounts of money is being splashed for social causes by billionaires like Bill Gates and Warren Buffet.The frenzy is catching up with the global diaspora which is relatively young but unfortunately they perceive it to be a glamorous affair. Movies like 'Social Network' have projected entrepreneurship as something so glamorous where everyone rakes in moolah and splurge their wealth on buying billion dollar properties,islands and dating supermodels that the average youngster mesmerized by this less than real picturesque of entrepreneurship wants to take up entrepreneurship for everything else other than making a dent in the universe as Steve Jobs said. Under such circumstances its a bad career choice to go for entrepreneurship. Dustin Moskovitz says defines it aptly in his following slide at startupschool

But again here is what my workspace looks like minus everything that media has projected all these years plus the usual pain and sufferation.
So I wanna hear from the entrepreneurial community on what exactly are their thoughts on whether entrepreneurship if taken for the wrong reasons can completely screw your career and happiness as the existing realities of the socio economic world are dramatically different from the the these sugar coated expectations that youngsters today tend to have.

4 Replies

Trevor Power
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Trevor Power Advisor
Business Development Manager at Warwick Ventures Ltd.

I think the world of entrepreneurship has some parallels to the world of acting - a small proportion of those who choose this route become stars, the vast majority do not. There's some corellation with talent, but it's loose, not deterministic... many talented entrepreneurs don't make it, let alone make it big. Attribution error and survivor bias means the popular perception of entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship are hopelessly skewed.

So you shouldn't become an entrepreneur (or an actor) just (or even mostly) for the money and you need to recognise the possibiilty that it won't work out, despite your best efforts. Real courage is when you understand the risk, feel the fear and do it anyway.

Randy Komisar wrote a great book some years ago that explored these issues

http://www.amazon.com/The-Monk-Riddle-Creating-Making/dp/[removed to protect privacy]

Julien Fruchier
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Julien Fruchier Entrepreneur
Founder at Republic of Change
@Trevor took the words right out of my mouth.

Nowhere is this better illustrated than in Seinefeld's 2002 doc Comedian, which examines the difference between Jerry's approach of focusing on his passion for making people laugh and an unknown chasing fame and fortune. No matter what profession you choose, choosing it for the sake of making money is generally a great way to set yourself up for disappointment. Focusing on the value you bring to others is the way to success, monetary and otherwise.
Nick Damiano
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Nick Damiano Advisor
Co-Founder & CEO at Zenflow
It's a combination of three things:
1) For a very small percentage of people, it can be jazzy and glamorous some of the time (but still involves lots of unglamorous hard work).
2) The media focuses on those people because it makes for a more interesting story, so it seems more common than it actually is. This is similar to the idea that Facebook makes your friends' lives seem more interesting - it's because they tend to post the interesting stuff.
3) Most people think they're better than average, and most entrepreneurs are by nature very self-confident, so they tend to picture themselves as 5-sigma outliers. That leads a lot of people to believe that they're destined be among the big shots who live the Silicon Valley high life.

There can be some glamorous parts to it if you work hard and get yourself into the right circles. I've certainly had some memorable interactions with Silicon Valley "celebrities" and many interesting stories along the way, and that's even without really making it yet. For example, I recently had the chance to tell Ashton Kutcher he needed to start worrying about prostate problems. That made my week for sure (he acknowledged he would need our product but still didn't invest). But for every one glamorous moment, there are several 80-100 hour weeks of the slog. The good thing is, the slog is itself rewarding if you're doing something you're truly passionate about. So start there, and whether or not it becomes glamorous at some point, you'll probably end up in a pretty good place.
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David Schwartz
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David Schwartz Entrepreneur • Advisor
Multi-Platform (Desktop+Mobile) Rapid Prototyping + Dev, Tool Dev
I don't know why ANYBODY perceives entrepreneurship to be jazzy and glamorous!

Maybe it's because they get to spend lots of time standing in front of groups of often wealthy patrons pitching their (often silly) ideas and asking for money?

The thing is, you can only spend so much time bitching and complaining about how things SHOULD be or what this dummy or that idiot SHOULD be focusing on before you decide nobody is going to do it unless YOU do. Or you see a glaring gap in the market that nobody else seems to have noticed and you wonder why if it's so obvious to you.

So you decide to embark on a mission to fill a hole or plant a flag on an unknown corner of the world that nobody knew existed before you pointed it out, hoping that nobody can start capitalizing on it before you.

In the process, you might get to rub elbows with famous and not-so-famous people who've got money to invest and people to connect you with. I guess maybe that's the supposedly glamorous part.

And if you're one of the lucky few, you hit it big and make a mark in the world.

But the sad truth is, most serial entrepreneurs are also serial bankruptcy clients.
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