5 Pessimistic thoughts on startups

I have been writing too many optimistic thoughts here. There is much more to say about a topic when you are optimistic about it. You are talking about what could be. When you are pessimistic, you are simply saying here is how things are. and they suck.


1. If your product needs to be 10 times better than your competitor, then your competitor can make their product 90% worse and still keep their customers.

I guess this explains Shaving. Along similar lines, if being nice and helping the world gets you customers and investors then having lots of customers and investors allows you more tolerance to be a meaner person with a world ending company.

2. Companies make up tons of buzzwords to describe away their dumb decisions.

You don’t have a bad product, you just “didn’t achieve product market fit.”

You aren’t terrible at convincing rich people, you just “didn’t close your funding round.”

You don’t have a nonsensical business model, you just “haven’t focused on profitability.”

I listened to the chairman of a company that did 50 million dollars in revenue say “we just don’t have our corporate governance in order” while key employees were leaving and they were being sued.

But hey – it’s not my fault, I just “don’t take accountability.”

3. Experts sure like predicting the future and doing it really publicly and they all really suck at it.

Venture capitalists, investors, stock traders, all enjoy this past time. Come to think of it, pretty much anyone rich.

4. The people with the most talent can’t afford themselves.

Picture the best pie maker in the world. Let’s say they are hired all over the world by dictators and CEOs alike to make their fresh, delicious pie. They definitely cannot afford to hire themselves. It would almost be stupid to stop and make a free pie just for yourself.

The best singer in the world, can’t afford to do a private 1 person show for themselves. In fact, they would turn down any amount of money if someone tried to hire them for that.

Now a rich guy with no skills? He can afford to do whatever he wants, his time is worthless as this thought.

5. Authors and the smartest people of our time aren’t writing internet comments
The internet, which we ALL read, including the smartest people of our time is written entirely by people with time to waste. Oh and marketers too.
We have chosen to fill our head with their thoughts.