The startup dream

The first result for a google search for "the startup dream" is a post titled "How quitting my corporate job for my startup dream f*cked my life up" — and that's not a coincidence.

Today we already have many startup stories to show us that we cannot simply just leave our jobs and have a startup and be happy and rich.

Yesterday I gave mentorship in technology for entepreneurs seeking funding from FIESP (Federation of Industries of the State of São Paulo) in an event called CAF, the biggest angel investment event in latin america, for the second time.

I've spent (invested?) 10 years of my career in startups and in all that time I've known only one type of startup: the silicon valley one, the one we dream about.

Lets pause and go back in time a little.

From 14 to 18 years old I've worked with electronics on the car industry, where I had to work from 8am to 5:45pm (it wasn't 9 to 5, never was) with nonsense strict rules and poor work conditions. We couldn't talk much to each other or work seated, or read anything to get smarter — because if you get smarter you could get your boss' job, right?

I left the car industry and electronics for good when I was 18 and switched to computing development, networking administration, then VoIP, Wifi, startups, cloud and so on.

Where does that leave us? I've never seriously associated companies that doesn't have the internet as the main focus with the term startup. Specially if the company's focus is on building industrial machines and stuff — if that's the case I see it as far away as it can be from a startup.

In my 10 years in startups I've seen way more entrepreneurs that built the companies just because they wanted to have them than to actually solve problems. Most of them just don't admit that and end up with zombie startups, but that's just the truth.

Yesterday I've had a great surprise to see people outsite the startup dream very well prepared to solve real problems. Don't get me wrong: the startup dream exist and it does solve real problems, but it also bias a whole lot of naive people.

My perception is that the enterpreneurs I've saw yesterday care less about the sillicon valley and more about doing it right. And that'll make all the difference — and may eventually ironically get them to sillicon valley, for the right reasons.