Simply put, everything around me.
With so much going on in the world, why wouldn’t anyone want to be a part of something that could change the way we look at the world? My first ever idol was Elon musk who put so much effort and money into helping set up 3 companies. Today they at the forefront of each of their respective fields.
But in a startups you must face the fact you can be working on something in one direction, then before you know it you are going in the other. Why is this? Because you suddenly realise that you need to pivot. This is a simple re evaluation of what you doing and often means failing. But failing is bad? So do it quick. This is something you can’t do in a large company, you end up focusing and working on something you know is wrong but don’t have the power to change it but only when someone high up says so. This is frustrating and in my opinion why large companies are not always at the forefront of cutting edge technology/user experience.
Startups are the first environment I have found where I can use my excessive amounts of energy and passion to prove things wrong and then move to make them right! It is such a roller coaster, one hour you work on something thinking it is great, the next knowing that it is never going to work! In business they call this the valley of death, that if you work through it, you will come out the other side stronger than ever. But it is not all a fairy tell, if something is wrong you can fight it all you want but either way you need to ask yourself if it is worth it? Doesn’t matter if it right or wrong, make a choice and go with it. Do not sit around all day discussing coming up with a ‘plan’.
You can also work by yourself trying to create something, but more often than not there is someone who can do it better, to meet these people can be hard. There are a lot of people on this earth. But to start getting to know them the best thing to do is to just attend events. Events like startup weekend are perfect where you get introduced to people and you never know what might come of it, or them. At the end of the day making something in a group of people is a lot easier than trying for days, if not weeks, to do it yourself. This is why lots of incubators don’t accept single founders.
After all, just by getting involved what do you have to lose? After all, first learn and then remove the L.
Bonus picture: Sometimes you just have to be crazy. Here I was pitching at an ING hackathon to an IBM managing director and ING CIO with no shoes on. I had made a decision and didn’t back out