I love reading The Prof – his latest newsletter about being an employee versus becoming and entrepreneur is so good.
The world is so focused on “startup theatre” that we sometimes pretend that the only way is the startup way.
Yesterday we spent some time with the CEO of http://www.racer.com.sg/, will write more on this later, and it was amazing to hear about a good old fashioned engineering/production company. The tales of how he pulled it off prior to VC in Singapore and the current startup mania are a good lesson for all of us today.
You can’t just wake up and pull off being a founder – you have to really want it and in some sense you have to be the person that can’t do anything else. Such as being an employee for example.
The skills and attributes necessary to be an entrepreneur are celebrated in the media every day — vision, risk taking, grit. But few mention the skills needed to be a good employee. I possess almost none of them. People assume, because I’m an entrepreneur, I have extraordinary talents too big for a company. The truth, about 90+% of entrepreneurs, is we start companies, not because we’re so skilled, but because we don’t have the skills to be an effective employee. On a risk-adjusted basis, being an employee for a good/great firm is more rewarding than being an entrepreneur. Again, something not discussed in a media obsessed with “innovators.”
I also think that starting off as an employee on your way to crafting your own thing is a healthy exercise since you need to learn how to manage employees and have empathy for their situation.
The whole newsletter is worth a read :: http://info.l2inc.com/webmail/151121/104996388/7a0a33819a491918de32bf47da7bc199e8b95ac3e60ee053e4e332cd22074607