I find myself more and more annoyed with this word. It’s the over glorification of starting something. It’s the pass that the entire scene is given. * Quality products? * Delighted customers? * Sustaining revenue?

“nah, who cares man, Start something!”

I am certain there are people who love starting things. Pioneers who don’t mind the risks nor being alone, they just want to get out there and do it. And then there is another set of people who enjoy creating efficient businesses. My guess is that a healthy capitalistic society needs both of those types of women and men engaged and doing what they love.1

But, I am not them.

I Want to build products, not businesses

For me, a business only exists so that I can sell a product (if it is worth selling). And at some point you need to create a business (if none existed before). At that point the business is starting up.

I am hesitant to call young, small, companies “startups”. There is nothing magical or special about them. They are just young and probably fighting to earn back resources it took to develop the product.

Go build something! Dream big. Delight people. Wow them with your creativity and execution. Build a great product!

I was looking through my emails this morning and I found this. I sent it to a close friend in December of 2012. > “I am not that interested in “startups.” I cynically define that culture as a circle of people that get themselves excited to “start” something. I really don’t care about “starting.” I want to build my craft/skill and contribute. Starting is a secondary or tertiary concern for me. Maturing, growing, contributing and excelling at my craft is what I am trying to focus on.”

Did I miss something? Think I am crazy? I’d enjoy hearing from you @banderson623.

Disclaimer: Not an Original Idea

Like most things in life, this is not an original idea. Below are references to others who’ve said or written similar ideas.2

“The better goal? Keep your head down, make a great product, and build a successful business.” Don’t Build a Billion-Dollar Business. Really. via @levifig

“This whole start up, this whole rush thing, you’re thinking about it as ‘I’m going to put in all this work right now, and then I can just coast away from there.’ There’s never going to be less work. In some ways there is just going to be more work, so if you set up your practices working 14 hours a day, 7 days a week you’re going to be stuck in that freaking treadmill for the rest of your time on this. The patterns you set, the practices you choose to adopt when you’re a starter will stick with you. And finally, if you try this, actually build a service or product and charge money for it” From DHH at Startup School 2008 is a classic (adult language).

“So if your goal is to enrich the Arringtons of the world while maybe, if you win the lottery, scooping some of the groundscore that they overlooked, then by all means, bust your ass while the bankers and speculators cheer you on.

Instead of that, I recommend that you do what you love because you love doing it. If that means long hours, fantastic. If that means leaving the office by 6pm every day for your underwater basket-weaving class, also fantastic.” From Watch a VC use my name to sell a con.

“It’s so funny when I hear people being so protective of ideas. (People who want me to sign an NDA to tell me the simplest idea.)

To me, ideas are worth nothing unless executed. They are just a multiplier. Execution is worth millions.” From another classic: Ideas are just a multiplier of execution

“Startups can bring new ideas to market. They can give people a chance to change the world on their own terms. They can create something where nothing existed before. There is no doubt that they are exciting things to be a part of.

But, as much as the tech world tries to treat them as special, we don’t believe startups are special. “ From Start a business, not a startup by Jason Fried one of founders of 37 Signals.

The video conversation between Jason Calacanis vs. David Heinemeier Hansson on This Week in Startups is worth a watch too. It was recorded in 2010.

  1. I am not bothered by young companies or fresh ideas – both are great! Rather it is the “startup scene” that annoys me.

  2. This section should expand as I remember the different articles about this stuff.