Motivation and startups: two sides of the same coin

September 26, 2015

In the recent years, we have experienced an increasing attention to what is known as the startup scene. Countless events - ranging from meetups, politician speeches, awards, entrepreneurship contests, etc. - are flourishing in many cities around the world in an attempt to replicate the Silicon Valley ecosystem. Some cities are even copying the name for such purpose: Malaga Valley.

Personally, I was never in the Silicon Valley and therefore I cannot describe from my own perspective how it is like. I do not even consider myself an entrepreneur, since I did never create any business on my own. The closest I have been to that was while helping to build the Word Bucket app. An adventure that lasted for more than three years and that I decided to park a few months ago. However, as a participant in some of these startup events and witness of the culture that is being created around this topic, I would like to share my thoughts on the startup movement.

The first thing that catches my attention is the new idea imposed by society that kind of forces people to have their business in order to be cool. It seems to me that if you create your own startup then automatically your reputation increases to an unbeatable level. Who does not remember the following scene of the movie The Social Network“? 

From these people, many are for sure pursuing their passion and are willing to make impact. On the other hand, after observing and talking to many people from different places, I am convinced that a huge percentage of them just want to open a business because it is the new trend.

The worst about it is that they don’t even know it. They just follow a need or a wish created by others. Unfortunately, many of these people will fail once they realise that it is not what they wanted to do. Which I think could be avoided with a little bit of initial thinking and self evaluation.

Another point that I observed is that people who were running their own startups and were quite active talking about their jobs, companies and how engaging entrepreneurship is, suddenly stopped doing so and even avoid their presence on social networks when they failed at certain stage.

Some of these people decided to work for someone else or enjoy life and travel the world for some time. They finally joined a big renamed company and stayed comfortable with their monthly payroll (which does not mean they are happier either).

I don’t really know what kind of “disease” they got, but for one reason or another their entrepreneurial spirit just vanished. Suddenly, they became allergic to words like “startup” and “entrepreneurship”, which may confirm the argument discussed previously. I firmly believe that a small portion of these people are just recovering and getting impulse for a new adventure with fresh ideas. People who after a series of events lost their motivation to continue doing what they started, but they still keep alive their willing to improve things and make an impact. For this group of people, with which I somehow feel identified, I wrote this post.

As a matter of fact, I am sharing with you a collection of speeches that kept me going in the bad moments. I still have a look at them when I need a shot of motivation. I hope they have the same positive effect on you as they do on me.

Neil Gaiman’s 2012 University of the Arts commencement
Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford commencement
Alan Watts: what if money was no object
Eric Thomas: “pain is temporary”

I know the topic of this post is quite controversial and can lead to many different opinions. I have shared my thoughts on the startup buzz based on my own observations, but those are just simply my opinions. So, what are your thoughts? Get in touch and share them with us!