Weird Traps Around Startups
Having been working on the development of Streamplate for nearly 3 years now, there’s been plenty of opportunities to think back on what’s happened.
As a friend shared with me…
…And damn has there been some experiences that have left crystal clear ideas in my mind.
The Trap of Authority.
Rather than predicate righteousness in an argument on palpable interpretations to convince someone of a differing opinion, there’s some agents that rest their conviction on titles.
Titles can be age (“I’m older”), experience (“I’ve worked at IBM”) or some other type of prefect relevant to an industry. I’ve been wary of anyone that justifies themselves by where they are, and not what they say.
The timelessness of truthful ideas means they’re independent to anyone’s growing sense of ambition or leverage. It’s a powerful weapon to wield in your mind when faced with a competitive marketplace (even more so when it’s stale) that is largely ignorant of you.
The Trap of Impressions.
First impressions count but your last impression is the final one — and that’s what people remember. Forget the allure of ‘hustling’ or being an ‘entrepreneur’, they’re just magnets forged in self-invented senses of authority that have little market value on developing what matters — your company.
It’s always bewildered me how attractive it seems to be to work for a ‘start up’. There’s so many sacrifices that have to be made to not only just set one up, but also to voluntarily work for one in general. This isn’t to say they don’t have their perks — and these are well documented. Working in a start-up or as an ‘entrepreneur’ (I don’t actually know what that means) seems to be fetishised by mass-culture for the most ludicrous and dangerous image-obsessed reasons. There’s nothing worse than subscribing to a lifestyle for its style.
I think if your priority is impressions and then product, then you’re plotting yourself along the function of sustainability — and without intervention, that’s naturally one of depreciation.
The Trap of Timelessness.
Missing deadlines suck — but they’re not as bad as never meeting them. Given the sheer whitewash of data available, it’s become possible to camouflage missteps or entirely erase them altogether. Fabrication and deception is an easy card to play, particularly when there’s so much to gain through a simple social media strategy.
As such, users need to be wary of the companies they invest their attention in. As always, any agent pursues a trajectory with ever changing displacement, velocity and acceleration.
Assessing any company’s trajectory leads to a prediction of momentum and there’s no reason not to want to see collisions: the company you’re backing crashing into industries and besieging the status-quo.
But when companies become aimlessly illustrative in their self-representation, then it’s near impossible to predict any type of momentum. Sometimes this can be deliberate (protect company strategy, IP etc) but you should consider the alternative — maybe there is no momentum.
When nothing seems to be happening time quickly blurs into an everlasting impression — nothing changing, nothing failing. Nothing to show. Everything seems the same. And that’s because nothing is moving.
And so there’s no momentum.
Apparently 99% of start-ups fail. Hopefully these are the start-ups that trapped their own customers with petty party-tricks.
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