Almost every week, Sometimes every day in a week I get asked whether I would be a Co-founder . Usually due to my current work(s) and that I have the experience of running a fairly typical startup in the past.
I humbly deny the offer each time and here's why.
The rules for an average successful($) startup has been set in stone. Rich parents with safety-net , Network to the investors who would invest in the startup even if it's a sham If they could get out with a profit before others find out that its a sham.
Such overvalued, over-funded startups have pumped up the salaries to an extent that even they themselves couldn't afford to hire new talent anymore . In my first startup I recruited inexperienced individuals and trained them personally for years, If I pull off something like that today it would be impossible to hold on to the talent for more than six months.
With no scope to organize a talented team , launching a startup as a bootstrapping entrepreneur isn't practical anymore.
Running a startup isn't fun anymore either as the game has been rigged. As a solopreneur, I can have more control over which game to play and even get to play by my own rules.
Surviving this ecosystem as a solopreneur is more challenging than running a startup and that's a challenge which gives me greater rush and satisfaction.
From fuelling inequality to destroying the planet , large businesses and their Billionaires have left a bad taste in my mouth. Today's startup, is tomorrow's large business unless there's kill-switch based on the size which can keep them vulnerable to legal punishments and not just treat it as a dent on their profit margin .
I have almost come to a conclusion that a good Billionaire(Trillionaire?) is someone who stops being a Billionaire. Such ideology is incompatible with a typical startup investor who's looking to become a Billionaire by investing in the startup if not already and It would be unfair at my end to expect my share holders and employees to share my ideology.
As a solopreneur I don't need to showcase different self for the sake of my startup.
When I was running a startup I built few products which I didn't use myself just because it had the necessary indicators to be successful i.e. make money.
Now as a solopreneur I can choose to solve the problems which truly resonate with me , The goal is still to make money(sustainable income) while solving problems but it's not contingent on my product being liked by the groupies or having to steal the soul of my customers.
I can choose not to subsist on the scraps thrown by monopolies , yet still provide better value proposition to my customers than the startups because once startups reach a stage they have to game everyone to maintain their size; inevitably diminishing the value offered to the customer.
I'm a time-constrained person . Any time I can save, I can put on managing my health.
While running a Pvt. Ltd. company, many times I have wished for the Earth to rotate slower.
The legislation usually doesn't make difference between a startup with $200 Million funding and a bootstrapping startup, While the former can exploit the compliances with the help of legal mafia, the latter is at the mercy of imbecile middlemen who thrive on outdated legislation.
As a solopreneur I'm on the same business category as the roadside coconut vendor, Which I'm happy to be in. But I have been lucky to acquire skills which helps me work without as much physical effort.
I can even choose to avoid mundane real-time communication altogether.
Last time when I was in a situation where I could end-up dying in next few hours, I was typing the strategy for my products to my share holders and was working on transferring the encryption keys . Now as a solopreneur if I know that I would die in next few hours, I can do things which actually matter and die without regrets as I'm not constantly chasing after the light at the end of the tunnel.
Contrary to the popular belief solopreneurship doesn't mean always struggling to make the ends meet, This is a time when solopreneurs can create unicorns .
Our customers tend to stay longer with us since we focus our efforts on solving one problem for them effectively unlike the startups which constantly have to copy everything from the competitors to stay relevant and become a frankenstein monster, alienating their existing customers with every update of their app.
Although I don't want to run a typical startup, I believe that entrepreneurship can be applied to make a positive impact on the society. With degrading economic conditions, A startup is fast becoming a club reserved for select few, but solopreneurship remains accessible to more.
Henceforth I plan on writing actionable content for solopreneurs here on hitstartup. I don't want existing followers of hitstartup to be disappointed, as any critical action for a solopreneur is a capital efficiency hack for the startup!
October 13 2021: Added potential.
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