The Wild, Wild West of Startups


The tech startup industry is more of a perfect competition than industries like airplane manufacturing or steel-making. It’s the wild, wild west of our age. Low barriers to entry. Lots of competitors. Lots of hype and perceived glory.

If someone tells you they’re quitting his/her job to found a startup, and you don’t really understand what that means, pretend you’re in the 1800s and that person has just told you they’re going West because gold was just discovered in the Klondike.

It’s one of today’s frontier industries. With the disappearance of America’s geographic frontier, enterprising people venture into other types of new territory to stake their claims. It’s a long, hard road. I’ve heard war stories of people sleeping on their friends floor, sleeping in the office, living on shoestring budgets in pursuit of a dream. Despite setbacks, we think that we’ll strike gold or our pan will reveal an ingot the next time. Success is just around the corner. We’re hopeful, we’re delusional.

This sort of opportunity attracts all types of people. There are snake oil salesmen, wannabes, and have-beens. But there are also real pioneers and frontiersmen.