The Start-Up Roulette

The Start-Up Roulette

Here’s the thing: when you launch a start-up, you’re basically gambling. Unless you’re doing this in your spare time, you just signed away your regular paychecks, your employee benefits, and everything else you get when you’re working with a good software company. You’re doing this in the hope that your business is actually going to take off, and you just don’t know whether it is or not when you’re really early in the game.

Some people won’t agree with the gambling analogy, pointing out that the odds at succeeding when it comes to gambling are so low that they barely even count in the first place. I’m not exactly sure how the odds of succeeding at a new start-up compare, but given the number of businesses that fail in their first year, the odds really don’t work in anyone’s favor. Starting a software business isn’t like going to Vegas, but it also won’t be like going back to college to get your new degree. You can put in four years, work hard, and be sure that there’s a certificate with fancy lettering waiting for you at the end of your college experience. You could put in four years trying to get a start-up off the ground with nothing to show for it other than the knowledge that you failed, which you always knew was possible anyway.

If you have a really revolutionary idea for a software start-up, it may be a good idea to just go with it. However, most people just don’t get those ideas. Naturally that’s the case, or the ideas wouldn’t be considered revolutionary in the first place. Most people who begin their start-ups aren’t trying to plug a hole in the system: they’re starting their businesses for the sake of starting businesses. The market doesn’t really need them, and they shouldn’t be surprised when the market more or less spits them back out when they try to add something back into it.