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HOT TOPIC Agree or Disagree: Entrepreneurship is a privilege

LuckyPup

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I am speaking solely on productocracy type businesses. Not the just pay the bills type of businesses.

The startup culture is all about, rags to riches, zero to hero, I work so hard, etc.

I am starting to realize that entrepreneurship is actually a priviledge thing. Hear me out. If an average income person wants to build a business, they gotta make huge sacrifices for the time being. Just because most if not all productocracy businesses require substantial capital and time to get it going.

A wealthy person starting a business, doesn’t have to cut back much at all and continue living life as is without making sacrifices because they got capital.

Poor person trying to start a business? Full on cut everything out of life to even have a sliver of a chance.

So pretty anything that requires significant capital is a priviledge thing, due to the fact that those with money don’t have to sacrifice. Just hate how the startup culture is all about, everyone has an equal chance.

Edit: Still working on my business regardless though.
Man, this pisses me off!

If this is your mindset, then you have miles to go before understanding entrepreneurship. Have you even read TMF? Do you know MJ's story, or the stories of dozens of other Forum members who are successful entrepreneurs?

Yes, many successful startups attracted money, but HOW did they do it? They did it by being smart as f@ck, working hard as f@ck and networking and pitching well as f@ck to even get the attention of the angels, VC's, etc.

There are two ways to have the tallest building on the block. You can focus on building the tallest building, or you can focus on tearing down every other building. People who use words like "privilege" are more focused on tearing down others than building themselves up. It's whiny, weak and a symptom of unconscious incompetence. Even worse, it's a self-destructive waste of one's time, energy and ultimately, one's life.

Remove that word from your vocabulary and get to f-ing work!
 

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rollerskates

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Hustle is free. If you are in good health, then you are OMG, guess what, privileged! If you have your mind in good working order, then you are privileged.

If you are only focusing on R & D for a productocracy, then you are doomed to fail. There are productocracies that don't require R & D, and there are a lot of businesses that aren't productracies. All of the following resources are free:

-The library
-Craigslist for flipping and generating cash
-Facebook Marketplace for flipping and generating cash
-Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook are free and you can borrow Gary Vee's book "Crushing It" from the library for free to learn how to use them.
-YouTube
-This forum

Things that are cheap:

A notebook
A pen

Use your notebook and pen and the above free resources and after reading and generating enough bad ideas, you will likely come up with some good ones.
 

Bryan James

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Are you kidding me? Entrepreneurship a privilege?? No. Entrepreneurship is a lifestyle that requires hustle, set-back, discernment, and self-improvement. Entrepreneurs don't snap their fingers and have someone hand them their money; they figure out how to go from failure to failure and learn how to best give others things they want or never even knew they wanted in the best way possible for them. Privileged? You've gotta be kidding me.
 

Kak

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A wealthy person starting a business, doesn’t have to cut back much at all and continue living life as is without making sacrifices because they got capital.
Comfort is a threat and a big potential hinderance to entrepreneurship.
 

GPM

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Anyone who has access to the internet is privileged. That is it. If you have an internet connection you have no excuse.

Libraries revolutionized the way the world could obtain information. Now you don't even need to leave your damn house. You can literally become a master AT ANY SUBJECT IN THE WORLD from the comfort of your couch. Let me repeat that, you can literally become a MASTER at any subject in the world and not even have to leave your house.

Hell, I would argue that you only need to know more than the next guy in order to be considered an expert, or have someone come to you for information on that subject. Find an area in the world that needs someone who knows WTF they are talking about and learn about it. The second you start talking to anyone else about that subject or put yourself in a position to explain it to someone else your knowledge is going to skyrocket that must further and faster.
 

biophase

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Wasn't talking about those low barrier "Me-Too" businesses. Which is a complete waste of time to do based on my experience. Anyone can start those and capital is rarely a limiting variable.

Its the Productocracy businesses (Real Business) for change that cost a lot because they require a ton of R&D. R&D ain't free. Especially with a physical product development.
This is because you aren't smart enough yet. Don't confuse being ignorant or uninformed with impossible. That's like saying it's impossible to get to the moon because you don't know how to build a rocket.

You have to realize your limitations and REALIZE that these are YOUR limitations, not everyone elses. Guess what R&D is free, thinking.

What about TOM shoes, aren't they a me too business? They just sell regular shoes. Did they have to do R&D?

I will give you a product that I'm launching in to that is 100% a me too businesses. Fishing lures. Yes, I'm selling regular f*king fishing lures. Just plunging into Amazon with a straight up private label lure. But guess what... I know of one that's missing in the market and not on Amazon. You want to know why? Because I go fishing and this one simple problem frustrates me so much AND I can't find its solution anywhere.

I have 2 more product lines that do require R&D, if you see my thread one is costing me $600 for samples, that's not much R&D. The next one will be way cheaper for a sample. Again, I'm pretty confident at these niches because they are unserved and not served very well. How did I come across these niches? Both are from doing fun stuff outdoors and realizing that something I needed was missing.

I'll even give you one more because I don't have time for this one. Make a biking backpack that can conceal a handgun that is accessible without having to stop the bike. Please? Then take my money and the money of hundreds of other mountain bikers.

So many ideas... not enough time.
 
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biophase

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Instragram simply would not have become a household name were it not for the millions pumped into marketing it. Mass popularity is bought.

This is all because of the power law of return. The VCs pump huge cash into 10 ventures, multiplying investments by around 10 at each stage of confirmed progress, because they know due to the power law curve that the 9 that fail are irrelevant as long as they get 1 that blows up.
So if Instagram was just bought by millions pumped in... then how can you say that 9 out of 10 fail in your next statement. Why didn't 10 out of 10 make it, I mean they all had millions pumped into them.
 

biophase

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I am starting to realize that entrepreneurship is actually a priviledge thing. Hear me out. If an average income person wants to build a business, they gotta make huge sacrifices for the time being. Just because most if not all productocracy businesses require substantial capital and time to get it going.

A wealthy person starting a business, doesn’t have to cut back much at all and continue living life as is without making sacrifices because they got capital.

Poor person trying to start a business? Full on cut everything out of life to even have a sliver of a chance.
To beat a dead horse... I don't remember what thread I posted my early tax returns in, but they basically said my AGI was like $30k, $18k and $30k in the years that I started my business. I don't believe MJ was rolling in dough when he started his business. Maybe have @SteveO come reply about how he worked 18 hour days, coming back from bankruptcy to making a few million. Your conclusion again, comes down to the fact that you just don't have the knowledge yet. Instead of trying again, you base your failures on your situation.
 

GoGetter24

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Poor person trying to start a business? Full on cut everything out of life to even have a sliver of a chance.

So pretty anything that requires significant capital is a priviledge thing, due to the fact that those with money don’t have to sacrifice. Just hate how the startup culture is all about, everyone has an equal chance.
^ Requoted in case those who haven't addressed these statements, and have instead just read the thread title and then jumped to self-indulgence, wish to.

What OP is pointing out is a valid issue, even if "privilege" may not be the right label for it. The power law "first million is the hardest" effect is law. It must be factored into decisions and preparations.

The fact of the matter is that poor people have no business starting a business. That's lottery mentality. If you're worried about having enough to eat and pay rent, you should not be worrying about business, you should be working for someone else, and working on increasing your labour value and cash reserves.

That might not be a viable way 15 - 20 years from now, depending on technological progress.
Tech progress actually increases its effect. Tech progress destroys lower skill jobs first, and opens up space for new jobs, like esports gamers & commentators, luxury sport instructors, travel consultants, social media manager, Ayurveda healers, etc. All of which require new specialized knowledge & skills.

So if Instagram was just bought by millions pumped in... then how can you say that 9 out of 10 fail in your next statement. Why didn't 10 out of 10 make it, I mean they all had millions pumped into them.
-->
bringing a deterministic mindset to a probabilistic situation
 

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GoGetter24

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Please explain what you mean.
Business is not deterministic, i.e. you cannot guarantee an outcome from your actions, because the result depends on imperfect knowledge. You don't know exactly what other market actors are thinking or what they know or what they want. All you can do it take the highest probability course of action based on what knowledge and resources you do have.

Social media plays are extremely network-effect, i.e. popularity, based. Its value is primarily in that other people are using it, other people trust it, other people talk about it, etc. Attaining that critical mass is the most important thing, and pumping money in is required to give you reasonable odds (e.g. Paypal did it originally by paying users to join, other companies paid celebrities to use & endorse their product).

So perhaps "bought" isn't the perfect word for "increase your odds of getting it from 1 in 10000 to 1 in 10", but it was close enough in that context.
 

startinup

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I don't agree with the way you've defined it as a privilege. Because poor people can succeed just as much as rich in entrepreneurship. Both have advantages and disadvantages. The poor person will have to become more resourceful to become successful. And that skill will help them stay successful. The rich person will tend to fall back in their money or investments when times get hard because they didn't have to develop this skill.

---
If we just talk about the title. I do think it's a privilege. But not because only some people are lucky enough to do it. But because we are lucky enough to be born into societies where we can be entrepreneurs. And I'm definitely grateful for that.
 

chendawg

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I would argue having a safety net or being born into wealth can be a disadvantage. For a lot of people it's only when their back is against the wall that's when they truly put in the effort. Why are there so many dysfunctional rich kids it seems?

But anyways, we're living in the easiest time in history to make money so really, there's almost no excuse to be poor.
 

ChrisV

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Go back to reddit with this privilige rant.

So in a sense they are at the right place and the right time because they have very specialized skills that are needed in that time and place. But privilege did not put them there.
Yea, half of the people in silicon valley moved there..
 

TreyAllDay

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Entrepreneurship is a right - atleast in western civilization. The right and freedom to determine your destiny is at the heart of the founding of Western civilization and is what makes our culture so great.

Where you start has it's advantages/disadvantages. Had friends in highschool who drove Range Rovers paid for by their parents, while I had to work 5 hours a night to pay for my vehicle and insurance. I thought it was unfair at the time. But 10 years later, they are working 9-5 corporate jobs and still don't understand personal responsibility.
 
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lewj24

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What OP is pointing out is a valid issue, even if "privilege" may not be the right label for it. The power law "first million is the hardest" effect is law. It must be factored into decisions and preparations.
The saying: "The first million is the hardest" has nothing to do with gaining a million dollars. The saying is about the lessons and skills learned in order to get the million. Once you've learned what you need to do to earn money it gets easier.

If it were solely about the privilege of starting with millions then why do lottery winners usually end up as big losers?
 

stmorand

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Without falling in the trap of "it depends on how successful the business is", being entrepreneur allows me to daily discover new things, talk to new people, question myself, and so on. Only because our day-to-day is not an endless routine makes me believe we have a huge privilege. Even though we worked (and are still working) hard for it...

Luckily, I didn't have to live outside and I think it may be the only limit that could make me change my mind...
 

GPM

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The fact of the matter is that poor people have no business starting a business. That's lottery mentality. If you're worried about having enough to eat and pay rent, you should not be worrying about business, you should be working for someone else, and working on increasing your labour value and cash reserves.
Are you F*cking kidding me????

Ever read about any of the titans of industry who started USA on the path to becoming the greatest and most powerful nation the world has ever seen? They were broke as shit! If they had that attitude then "The West" would be nowhere. No offence to those who were here before us, but they were not exactly industrialists.

That has to be one of the stupidest statements I have ever read. There is nearly NO TIME that an individual can't be working on bettering himself and those around him if they so choose. It is your choice in the matter. Want to sit around and do nothing in your life, you have the right to do so. Want to get off your a$$ and do amazing things? You have the right to do that as well.
 

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GoGetter24

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Ever read about any of the titans of industry who started USA on the path to becoming the greatest and most powerful nation the world has ever seen? They were broke as sh*t!
Indeed I have; no doubt with greater attention to detail than those who wish to emotionally blurt and self indulge. Biographies are my favourite, actually. They all passed through a stage of working for other people and strictly saving their money.

Reality is objective and observed. Not blurted arbitrarily for the self-pleasure of the weak.
 

Envision

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Yes, when Jeff Bezos left his investment banking job to start an online book store he was so privileged.

How dare he even try. #entreprenuershipprivilege #metoo
 

Walter Hay

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I am not the only one whose story is not one of privilege. My biggest privilege was to remain alive through illness that at that time was almost invariably fatal.

I was not broke when I started my first big business - I had $47 in the bank. I also had a wife and 2 children to keep while still being a semi-invalid.

You can read the story here: Featured User - Walter Hay, Imp/Export Extraordinaire (Vandalay Industries)

Walter
P.S. I didn't even know what a silver spoon was.
 
OP
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My books have nothing to do with the "startup culture" but about creating a small business that sets you free. You can create a small business and a productocracy.

You don't need money to start, but you will need TIME and a COMMITMENT. Human capital (learned skills) can compensate for a lack of cash.

As for the Silicon Valley cult, I'd imagine there's some truth to your assertion that getting into that circle requires a minimum amount of money, insider contacts, and the right amount of globalist sentiment.
Really? No disrespect MJ, but you do need decent amount of money to start a productocracy. Even something as low cost as programming, will need capital to get market feedback with ads at least. I am making the assumption that most people have internet, smartphone, and laptop. I can see non-productocracy businesses that can be started with near $0 capital, but those businesses are pointless to start.

If I were to make a physical product based business like a backpack that is a productocracy. It requires a lot of trial and error. Trial and error isn't free. If you go DIY route, you got to be able to pay for all the tools, equipment, and materials to make the prototypes. This is necessary so no one can just Alibaba my stuff. If you go outsource method, you got to pay the manufacturer to prototype for you. Either way, there is always a cost. Obviously, designing a backpack is not in the league of Silicon Valley, but shows that a small business produtocracy does require capital as well.

Edit: How did I forget? There is a zero cost business model, but I don’t really consider it a productocracy. Not sure if you can value skew content exactly. Unless something truly unique about yourself. Social Media Personal Branding, Audience Aggregation.
 
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Chris25

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But a wealthy person had to have done something right to get there in the first place. If you're born rich then your parents must have done something right to get there and sustain their wealth. And you will have to do something to keep all that too.

Personally I was never raised to believe i could have it all, by my parents or by school systems. But I always knew something is not right. My problem was too much imagining and law of attraction but lack of real action.

So you have to put in work either way. Your mind is the real privilege. Being born in a developed society is privilege. Your wealth can always change.
 

Scot

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I can see non-productocracy businesses that can be started with near $0 capital, but those businesses are pointless to start.
That doesn’t make any sense. A productocracy is something you BECOME, not something you START.

If you’re looking to start a productocracy, you’ve already lost.

The thing is, privilege or not, it doesn’t matter.

Nobody cares about your privilege or lack of, it’s what you DO WITH IT.

Discussing privilege doesn’t move the ball down the court.

You know what does?......

Action.
 

Scot

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I'm going to start quoting this whenever a philosophy thread pops up on the forum.
I'm taking this thread on a slight segway, hop on a small soap box.

You ever notice that some of the big players here like Kak, Vig, JasonR, Bio go missing for weeks, even months on end?

Its because they're getting sh*t done. They're building. They're working. They're growing.

I think I've logged into the forum and actually read something maybe... 5 times in the past 2 months. I've been busy. Growing. Building. And I look back at all the time I wasted with mental masturbation online, when I could have gotten more accomplished pre-launch.

What I mean to say is.. think before you post something. Ask, "Is this mental masturbation or am I genuinely working?" Now, I don't mean to say not to provide value to others. Because that's what makes this forum a gold mine. But, that's the question to ask to. "Is this helping someone else to grow?" If you fail both those questions, maybe you should concentrate on your business or ideas.
 

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