9 Problems Of The Startup World

All written from a point of view of trying to start up in Europe.

1) Glorification. Headlines full of ‘startups’ and ‘entrepreneurs’. Both used as eye-catching headlines. It feels cool being an entrepreneur, doesn’t it?

2) Calling yourself the CEO/CTO/CFO/CMO of something that is as real as smoke (or smog) can become. Why worrying in the title even before having a product or a path to market?

3) Buzzwords, buzzwords everywhere. It’s either cloud, machine learning or big data these days. Even if you can use Excel for it.

4) Attending many lessons and workshops teaching how to start up instead of doing. There are some (crazy) ideas, but most people just want to be an entrepreneur. For the sake of it. Or because how cool sounds. Why attending three different talks about the CANVAS even before having some ideas?

5) Taking a Masters’ on Entrepreneurship. What’s the point? When you can focus on your project and product, and learn while following the path of your project? Are universities also riding the bandwagon of entrepreneurship? Mom-and-pop shops are also entrepreneurs… But they aren’t glorified. Instead, we want to replace them with apps.

6) Starting tech projects without technical (co)founders. Only having the vision of the product but without abilities to make it real. That means outsourcing the creation of your product to some entity that doesn’t share the same passion. And that can be frustrating (and more expensive).

7) Gamification. Many recent monetization strategies are based in some kind of gamification. We want to make everything fun. Let’s get badges for everything. Can I take a bunch of ‘em? That’s the v2 of ‘putting ads’ to monetize a service.

8) Overusing sharing and social networks. Placing buttons to share some content that even the people who made the decision wouldn’t share.

9) Aiming for big, obscenely big, exits. This leads people to start up for money instead of following a passion, or to solve a problem. Those are the ones discussed in entrepreneurial workshops. Even if the vast majority of startups will fail, and those with successful exits will be disappointing compared to them.

Francesc Bruguera is a student, indie developer and co-founder of Skibeta.