Swinging for the fences

David Heinemeier Hansson:

I get annoyed at the destruction of wealth, the creative inefficiencies. But it’s also deeper than that. It’s the corruption of youth. These “swing for the fences” kind of deals and companies have this intense spotlight on them. And it is brainwashing the next generation of starters to think that this is the way to go. That this is how you’re going to make it in startup land. And I think that’s absolutely horrible.

I agree so much it’s not even funny.

First, the amount of time and energy and resources and creativity that gets wasted trying to create things that have to be these big massive scalable hits to succeed is staggering. Money wasted on building them, on promoting them, on trying to force things to happen faster, bigger, better, because you need that return on that big investment, and you need it now.

The talent and creativity and effort that gets wasted when those companies then get acquired because the investors need their exits, and then nothing interesting happens with that company afterwards. A few people got insanely rich, but the world didn’t benefit from it. So many examples - Skype, Flip, Delicious, Blogger, the list goes on and on.

Second, the time wasted for those people who play that game.

Your time on this planet is the single resource that is not renewable, that you will never get back. Better spend it well.

To the investors, it doesn’t matter. You the entrepreneur is an expendable resource. But to you, it’s literally life and death. It’s your life.

And even if you ‘succeed’ and get a big paycheck, you’ll realize that while money is great, it’s not what you’re here for. It doesn’t give you the satisfaction, the fulfillment. Fulfillment comes from doing meaningful work, from living a meaningful life. Not from having millions in the bank. (At least that’s what I hear from people who’ve tried it ;))


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