Startups are a dime a dozen, or are they still in this new wave of Dot-com boom?
To be fair, this new phase is not merely dot-com. Mostly are apps based, things you use on your smartphone. Mostly are sharing-economy focused. Think Uber, Airbnb.
Some are taking the original titans at their own game. Think Lazada in South East Asia.
Funnelled ahead with the strong winds of ever-cheaper mobile devices, and incredible adoption of internet on mobile telecommunications line, we can think of the layers that are benefiting the most. Telco companies are raking supernormal profits, from data usage. Users are consuming youtube videos on their smartphones. Constantly checking their social media. They have become slaves.
To be a startup, you must have astonishing skills of being a manager, creator, people person. You have to find a suitable worker, that could be a co-creator splitting duties, then perhaps becoming a co-founder. Your idea must be workable. Must be amazing. Must disrupt the status quo. Think Whatsapp. It was the Paypal of communications. Paypal enabled payment by simply using a unique address – the recipient’s email address. Which means only one person owns an email address. There is only one firstname.lastname@example.org
Hence whenever you send a payment from Paypal, it goes to that email, it goes into that person’s or recipient’s account.
Whatsapp simply is that. Each person who owns a mobile phone number, only will be the one who has access to that number, to the SMS, to the text, to be able to pick-up or slide that Green box to accept that call. Calling Person X at +838383838 will reach Person X. It won’t be accidentally routed to Person Q.
With that power, and network effect, and almost free cost (there was a phase where Whatsapp charged a yearly fee after the first year of usage – remember that?!), some tech billionaire saw that potential to control, or own people’s true identity. Each unique phone number is so unique that it could matter even life or death. A confirmation and non-repudiation that you are Person X.
Now, to be a startup needs such super niche idea to be successful, since over 80% of startups will close shop, will fail, even if you threw tons of money into it, it will fail. When there is no network effect it will fail too. Microsoft invested billions into Nokia to challenge the status quo, but never took off since the Android and IOS ecosystems were already in the advanced stages of the network effect. 80%-90% of users were already using it.
80% of people were already using eBay, when Yahoo Auctions tried to monetise. In fact, I remember, the first things I ever sold online where not in eBay, but via Yahoo Auctions. They had this thing going. Then gone.
Besides a great idea, you need to have enough funds. Enough money. Enough savings. Many startups are playing the wrong way, trying to get it quick and easy with a VC funding, which is fine. Though true powerful startups did it the tough way. Own money, own savings. Alibaba’s Jack Ma. AirBNB founders. They raise money, they saved money.
Then even if you have VC backed funding, it becomes a lot like that series – called Silicon Valley. Your talents are suppressed by politics. By money politics, investors. By lawyers, getting legal, regulations. You will get sued if you are getting slightly successful. Your co-founders could run away along with half the money, half the code.
You have to show growth. Your users must keep increasing as a sign of progress. It becomes like the economics of GDP. Every one must grow (which I totally disagree, see my other article on evils of GDP). GDP growth seeking is killing Mother Earth. Every fish is being fished. They are not being replenished. Crops are modified into monsters so they won’t die, won’t die from pesticides, and land cleared until they form dust storms in the middle of the USA. (read your history, it caused a huge migration of people)
Here is my proposal for being a (likely) successful startup:
– invest all your savings into Bitcoin
– Bitcoin has a good chance to grow in the next 3 years
– imagine investing all your time, money in a startup, you may not know too what will happen in 3 years
– all the above issues will not directly happen
– staff can run away with your code, since you have zero staff
– you won’t need to manage people, hire, fire
– you won’t need to cajole VC, play their game
– you won’t need to spend time making charts, investor meeting, showing user growth
– you won’t need to learn coding, or hire coders
– you won’t need to hire designers, heck you won’t need to own a dotcom or website, or web presence
– you just need to have perhaps Google+ or Facebook, or really frugal, just gmail.com
– you won’t need to spend on capital such as new computers, new laptops, new smartphones to test your apps, internet costs
– you won’t need to buy suits, dry-cleaning, black shoes, cocktail dresses(if you’re female)
– you won’t need to own a car to show you are capable of owning and moving around (you can just use Uber or you won’t need to in the first place)
– you won’t need to pay rent for a shop, rent for office, rent for PO Boxes, nor pay utility bills that are higher if it is a commercial lot
– you won’t need to create company events, parties, dinner, get-together
– you won’t need to pay for gifts for your workers for their wedding, birthdays, New Year, Year End
– you won’t need maintenance cost of managing the equipment, airconditioning, servers, furniture, coffee machine
– you won’t need to hire a cleaner to clean the office, clean the company car / van
– you won’t need to constantly keep all receipts to try to claim or off-set taxes
– you won’t need to overspend simply to show it can be placed into your tax-deductibles
– you won’t need to sell yourself (being fake) to try to get investors, users, friends
– you won’t need to pay taxes, company registrations, accountant to check and verify
– you won’t need to deal with blood sucking lawyers – since no rental agreements, no legal issues, no banking, no contract, no VC papers, no intellectual violations
= ALL OF THE ABOVE = alot alot alot of savings, capital, money, funds, that you could INVEST in your OWN startup now
“Taxpayer”is a diabolical word. Diabolical term. Diabolical label. Can you see it? If you were proud of being one, you certainly had been brainwashed. We are citizens. Not taxpayers, not killing machines (think soldiers being indoctrinated to “serve the country” where actually you can serve by not partaking in killing).
We are citizens of the world. We are citizens of Mother Earth. Serve her. Protect her.
SO now, your startup is all set. You could be buying 5 bitcoins or 10 bitcoins with your savings or projected savings.
If you need a goal, think of your age. If you’ve wasted 5 years of nothing in some military or dropout, or college that got you nowhere, or a health-harming job, then use that as a goal. 5 years, so get 5 bitcoins. Very easy goals to achieve.
You can think bigger or another perspective.
If you are 40, and wish to retire at 60. Then think of saving 20 bitcoins. When bitcoin is 3 times, or 10 times its value in 20 years. It will still be far more worthwhile than in stocks.
Or simply, if you are someone who have nothing to lose, yet all those startup ideas had evaporated, or had tried and failed, now you know you have a big chance of success, without ALL THOSE RISKS listed above. Then think or ask: how much should I put in, and give a small reasonable duration of 3 years – 4 years.
Andreas Antonopoulos – dropped everything, moved everything into bitcoin and has lived inside bitcoin for the good 4-5 years he has been involved in.