We succumb to the startup itch because of the promise of getting rich but most of the time we fail to understand that (I got this from a Paul Graham essay) people who succeeded from their startups were paid on account of their productivity and output. I distinctly remember my aha moment when I read in the footnotes that “what you do in a startup is compress a lifetime’s worth of work into a few years. .”
I think that the problem is you seldom know who would be extremely successful in a startup environment. You can see who would be successful but not who might be (explanation: If you knew Steve Jobs or Bill Gates before their success you would probably say they had a high chance of succeeding whilst the majority of people are like millionaire’s next door types you wouldn’t know they are successful if they didn’t tell you!).
And I believe their (magazines/bloggers/tech-evangelist) skewed views are somewhat sound because some people need to get started at doing before they get their groove and find that they were meant to do great/amazing things.
all in all read the whole thing!
Telling Us What We Want To Hear
Have you ever had a close friend whose engagement isn’t working out, and now they wonder if they should be concerned about getting married? Sometimes there are signs it isn’t going to last, but they don’t want you to tell them that. They are scared to leave the relationship, scared of failing, scared of being alone, and so they don’t want to you help them go down that path. They want you to tell them it will all be ok. They want to hear that he/she will probably change.
Likewise, people don’t want to read that hard work and discipline are the path to success. They don’t want to have to analyze numbers, because it isn’t as fun as going with the gut feeling. They don’t want to be told that the latest trend is just a fad, even though it almost certainly is. Business magazines that don’t cater to what people want will go out of business. The result then, is that business magazines (and books and blogs) tell us what we want to hear. Then we go off and implement that bad advice, and when it doesn’t work, we make up some other excuse. Or, if we come to realize the advice was wrong, but it is still popular, we keep it to ourselves, because speaking out about it is a quick way to get chastised and be labeled (negative, luddite, sour grapes, etc). People want to believe what they want to believe, and if you try to show them a truth that conflicts with that, you will most likely fail.