Don't start a startup just because you want to start a startup

Recently I had the opportunity to work with a friend on this startup idea as a cofounder. It's actually a really cool idea and some can argue that it has the potential of really revolutionizing its industry. I'm someone who loves the startup ecosystem and someone who takes up every great learning opportunity that comes my way, but for some reason, I felt like I had to turn this one down.

There were a few reasons I can think of about why I didn't feel like I want to jump on this road right now:

  • It ultimately wasn't a problem that I was very passionate about solving

  • It didn't feel like the right time to work on a startup

  • There were so many other things I wanted to explore in the world of technology that jumping into a startup idea seemed like it would narrow the spectrum

Then I came across this talk by Paul Graham, a co-founder of YCombinator. Here he talks about why building a startup is one of the most counter-intuitive things out there before he goes on to give you all the reasons you shouldn't start a startup, especially as a student. My favourite point was, school/university is the time to work on random projects. It's the time to play around with all the things that excite you, with no real burden of making money, solving a specific problem or hiring/firing someone. He says rather than "building a startup" in school, use the time in university and to work on random projects with peers and build skills and that network of people that one day might be your cofounders. Ultimately if one of your side projects kicks off and gets big, then you have the choice of running with it and making it a startup. But don't try to build a startup for the sake of building a startup.

Sam Altman, also a co-founder of YCombinator, says that when someone asks you why you're starting a start-up, your answer should be "How can I not work on such an amazing idea?". You should be so passionate about the idea that the passion propels you through all the hardships that come with it. Here is a series of videos on "how to start a startup?" created by Sam. You should definitely watch them if you want to build a startup now or in the future.

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