To be or not to be... Procrastination is not an option.
Among people who are involved in startups, it is often said if you have never founded a startup you have no way of knowing what it is like. Most startups have a plan but the result is always much different in reality. You can set targets but despite your best efforts you will always be off the mark. Every single time. With a startup it is always your money, your sweat, your blood, your tears. The result is that the highs are much higher and the lows are much lower than if you work in an established company. Regardless of how popular “doing a startup” is these days, most people are just not cut out to found a startup.
I have co-founded 3 startups. One was founder funded, one was VC funded and one was customer funded. You may think getting VC funding means everything is set and your chance of success is greater. It doesn’t. It is like running up a huge student loan which you need to pay off by studying hard and working extremely hard to pay back. It means you are not your own master at the end of the day. It is a somewhat glamorized form of indentured servitude. Founder-funded means if a founder leaves you need to give him or her their money back. Customer funded means you put no actual money in the company but instead you create a minimum viable product (MVP) and sell that product to customers to fund the company. This is called “bootstrapping”. In the customer-funded scenario it means you need to really satisfy your customers and have something they want to buy or you go out of business. Startups always make mistakes and money is spent in a way that with hindsight can be said was unwisely spent. People usually spend their own money more wisely than other people’s money. Spending money well involves making good decisions, often very quickly.