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The Real Problem with Startups, the Next Bubble

Posted on by Nicolas Franz

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A wise man said: The problem with the Internet startup craze isn’t that too many people are starting companies; it’s that too many people aren’t sticking with it. But is this argument still valid?

…the startup wave is fun and incredible rewarding, but for whom?

I have been inspired by the Gary Vaynerchuk unique perspective to see the internet maelstrom we are being drawn to. This energy and motivation is an important piece on every startup success plan to him and many other entrepreneurs. Furthermore the startup wave is fun and incredible rewarding, but for whom? Let me be straight, aren’t we creating the next [crisis] bubble? How long will our ego be fundraised? Are we looking for solutions to solve real [and important] needs?

…look forward to improving what we already have among us or, if possible, solving a problem that could really make the difference.

As a founder and partner of some startups, I got the chance to meet entrepreneurs with a lot of experience. Surprisingly, only a few of them asked me “what are you trying to solve?”. But all of them asked me: “How are you planning to sell this?”. One or two of them advised me to stop looking for the next Twitter or Facebook and look forward to improving what we already have among us or, if possible, solving a problem that could really make the difference.

Hermion Way, a journalist and new media entrepreneur, has interviewed more than two hundred startups. In an article she wrote at The Next Web she said “the problem with Silicon Valley is itself”:

I’ve heard pitch after pitch of the same technology and keep wondering why all these highly intelligent, well educated youngsters, many of whom have been educated in the best universities in the world (Stanford, Yale and Harvard) are not putting their brains to good use by solving real-world problems… Everyone is doing something amazing and trying to change the world, but in reality much of the technology being built here is not changing the world at all, it’s short-sighted and designed for scalability, big exits and big profits.

Concluding, wouldn’t it be nice to go beyond the startup bubble, to go further the excitement of having an startup and ask ourselves these questions: am I looking for solutions of a real [and important] need? Can I improve something that already exists? Do I know the people that will need “The-Next-Big-Thing-I-am-creating”?

I still remember the words of an entrepreneur that thankfully I have never met again. His words are engraved in my mind as something I never want to be: “..This is ridicule, people is disgusting… I would like to pay you to do this job for me”. Until now this person doesn’t have the slightest idea of what he is doing with his money or what the people is thinking about his project, but he knows he is losing a lot of money and his startup is going nowhere. Is this what you want to be?

References

Photo by Robert Scoble

One Response to The Real Problem with Startups, the Next Bubble

  1. Francisco Freres says:

    I hear of many people who have interesting ideas but tell me “this really solves the problem” or do you know which is the main issue? I liked your comments and references..
    Nice Page!

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