This evening I had a delightful conversation with a friend where we did a quick back-of-a-napkin calculation: The potential payout for your average startup founder versus a career on Wall Street. Let me tell you — it is not pretty.
There is essentially no way you can justify a startup purely from a monetary perspective. Yes — an exit is a possibility and when they come (and come in the right way) they can yield a massive payout. But all the odds are stacked against you: Rate of survival, chance of exit at a rate which leaves you with a financial upside, blah blah… From a purely long-term financial returns perspective it’s almost always better to pick a solid career in a growing industry, keep investing into your employability and value to your employer and make some well-timed bets on moving along the career ladder.
That’s not why we’re doing this. We are entrepreneurs because we want to leave our mark. Because we do things our way. Because we crave freedom. Because we simply love what we are doing.
That’s why we are entrepreneurs.