There might be something in your gut that nudges you to take your idea and declare to the world that you are ready to make it your life’s work.
You might be done working 9-5, slaving away to transform someone else’s vision into reality.
As a young graduate you might be looking for more than an established brand name, namely- a place to create, innovate, fail, and learn what it takes to move with grace through all of this.
The startup world awaits you.
The past few years have seen a tremendous increase in the number of people choosing to build their own companies and products from scratch, rather than seek safety in traditional corporate roles. In the United States alone, the last quarter of 2016 saw a record no. Of People starting their own ‘thing’. About 7.4% of job-seekers chose a startup over a traditional corporate role or even being an IAS officer. One reason for this was accessible start-up capital and a strong job market. (Source: Challenger, Gray, and Christmas Inc.)
Still, the fact remains that there are more risks to be taken, a gestation period to be weathered where your product assimilates life, and tonnes of learning to be done by each team member.
In the face of so much work and uncertainty, why do people still choose to start a startup?
And if someone is on the fence about joining or starting one, what would be the selling points that convince them to finally take the leap?
“Any time is a good time to start a company,” noted startup investor, SV Angel, Ron Conway said.
Here, we outline some of those reasons- why people choose to stick with a startup, why you might consider being part of one, and why Ron Conway said what he did.
1. It’s basically The School of Life
All the essential and noble virtues one might ever hope to cultivate, naturally become a part of the psyche when the decision to be a part of the startup culture is taken.
Want to make stellar sales? There’s research to be done with regards to your target audience, backed up by thoughtful strategies to draw them in and make them stay. You gotta find what makes people tick. Patience, sweet friend.
Want to find new markets and expand? They don’t really teach networking and forming relationships at B-schools. But if you are a part of a startup, you’ll learn this first-hand. People are a critical piece of the success puzzle.
Someone on your team getting your vision, but just not quite right? Can you use a better set of words? Where is your team member coming from? Everyone needs to be on the same page. Everyone needs to be hearing and speaking the same vision. Communication and the effect it has on people needs to be learned and paid attention to.
On the other hand, an administrative role at a large corporation is enough to stunt your growth in other areas. A startup calls you to take up a personally challenging role in the organization at one point or another. This fluidity in roles makes for much more rewarding personal growth.
2. The horizon is yours to explore (hello, innovation and failure)
If you have a graduate degree from a top B-school but your idea doesn’t really fulfill some need of the masses or isn’t novel enough, it’s not going to sell.
If your idea is good but isn’t marketed properly, it’s not going to live up to its potential.
The missing piece?
Exploration and curiosity at each step.
Is there a better way you can market this product? Can you improve it in some other way? Add a quirk that others deem might lead to its downfall? Is there a new set of words or images that can be used to brand yourself more aptly?
In MNCs or large businesses, there is little room for the freewheeling innovation that can happen within the walls of a startup. More often than not, the hotshots at the top control what happens and how. The middle and lower layers of the hierarchy are supposed to simply follow along.
In a startup, everyone contributes at the same level. And more importantly, everyone s heard. This creates space for a greater number of ideas and strategies to be explored before hitting upon the perfect one.
There is a lot at stake, and yet nothing is at stake! That is a delicious, fierce, give-it-your-all kind of freedom that only a startup can provide.
3. You have a shot at being remembered for eternity
There are few professions that allow you to impact people’s lives. Or to fail in the most epic way and still get up with much greater grit and resolve. And then come out with a product that disrupts personal or societal narratives.
A startup can allow you to experience all of this glory. It’s hard-won, it’s not for the faint-hearted. But if you can sail through the rough storms, you can come out on the other end with an unshakeable faith in yourself and with the world applauding you. A seed doesn’t sprout into a tree overnight. In the same way, a startup doesn’t turn into a brand after a few days. But once it does, you’ll find within yourself the satisfaction of seeing lives bettered and the pride at having been the one to bring the change about.
In the words of Wendy Tan White, co-founder, and CEO of MoonFruit, “Sustaining a successful business is a hell of a lot of work, and staying hungry is half the battle.”
Are you up for the work?
Are you hungry enough?