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Tue 05 Feb 2008

Pain

Category : Commentary/pain.txt

Talking about pain, there's a very good book for aspiring high-tech or IT entrepreneurs to read to get a feel for what they're going to be in for - the book is called, "Founders at Work". Here's an excerpt :

At an HBS (Harvard Business School) reunion, we had a roundtable for all of us who had been entrepreneurs, and one of our professors asked, "What didn't HBS teach you about this?" And I said, "Pain."

I only remember one class that came close: the professor walked out of the class with tears in his eyes, having recounted the story of his friend who had started a cable company, and it destroyed his life, destroyed his family, and moved him to a place where his life was a waste of time. That was the only indication I had at HBS about how painful this is.

"Go out and be entrepreneurs" - that seems to be the government's message of the day. Mostly, it is people in safe jobs telling others to go out and do their thing. As if you can just turn on the tap.

It could be a great life. But it could also go oh so wrong. Imagine spending ten to twenty years pursuing a dream and ending up in a street corner muttering to yourself. There but for the grace of God, go I.

Okay, so the country, any country, would need entrepreneurs. But let's not hear it from those who couldn't or wouldn't do it themselves. Listen to those who have. And survived.

And it may be that you come to realise that the words of The Desiderata have more meaning, and value, than any number of government handouts, when you're struggling to survive.

Posted at 4:47PM UTC | permalink


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