Three reasons why you should never become a tech founder (and maybe one or two reasons why you should).

Tech startups are the holy grail for many people. Creating a company from scratch based on an idea you’ve come up with and refined together with your co-founders is a dream that many aspire to. Perhaps fewer people right now than in recent years, but still it’s cool, it’s exciting and it’s rewarding – or is it? Here are three reasons why you should never ever start your own tech company:

  1. Being a founder is hard, man. It is a constant flurry of different emotions where you are exceptionally happy one day, and depressed the next. There is no certainty, no safety net, and certainly no reward that will come anytime soon. You will have co-workers and co-founders disagreeing with you, investors demanding things from you and customers most likely yelling at you. Most of all, you will be demanding crazy things of yourself, things that you are unlikely to fulfil anytime soon.
  2. Being a founder does terrible things to your self-esteem. If you were a well-balanced and self-assured person, that is now a thing of the past. You may still look like you know what you’re doing and that you are confident, but on the inside, you have serious doubts about what you’re doing, why you are doing it and if you’re at all capable of doing it. You will find yourself at family gatherings trying to explain what you’re doing, and you will hear people put you down (and your idea down). At the same time, you have no choice but to tell everyone that “you’re doing fine”. Inside, you know you’re not fine, and you are making mistakes on a daily basis.
  3. Being a founder is a fast-track to poverty. We have all heard the success stories of big tech. We see Elon Musk’s net worth grow to over $200 billion, and Zuck, Gates, and Bezos amass so much wealth that it’s unimaginable for most people. Even unknown founders have become billionaires over the past 20 years and are living the life we all dream of. And when your company raises money, on paper, you will quickly become a millionaire – except you’re not. I like to call it “Schrödinger’s Wealth” – you are rich and poor at the same time. In reality, you’re just poor – until, of course, you exit, which is less common than it seems when reading TechCrunch or other tech sites.

So that was depressing. What’s the reason for becoming a founder? Well, if you can stomach the three reasons why you shouldn’t, there may be some good news. First and foremost, you are fulfilling a dream. That holds value in itself. Also, you are building something that can last. It may take forever, but change is incremental, and you are making it happen. Maybe you are even changing the world. All startups say they do, but who knows? Maybe you are the one doing it? And finally, perhaps most importantly, every once in a while, you will have a meeting with a potential client or investor where they become as enthusiastic as you are about the problem you’re solving and the solution you are building. That, even though you’re still tired, broke and depressed – is a beacon of hope. And that’s why we do it.

I had a couple of those meetings today, where, although it’s not perfect, the people I spoke with were enthusiastic about what Careera can become. So I’ll keep doing it. Oh, one last thing. If you must become a founder, don’t do it alone. Find a great co-founder with complementary skills and aligning values, like I did in Dawid Makowski. I can’t promise you won’t regret it. But as they say, it’s better to try and fail than to never try at all.

#startuplife #founders #techstartups #hrtech #workinglife

This article was first published on LinkedIn.

Erik Ingvoldstad is the Founder & CEO of Acoustic.
Follow Erik on Twitter @ingvoldSTAR, follow Acoustic at @AcousticGroupSG
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[Main photo from Adobe Stock]



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