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Entrepreneurship

For years and years, whenever I’d mention to someone that I’d like to start a business, I’d get quoted the infamous “80% of all businesses perish within 5 years” parable.

Well, that piece of “wisdom” never quite sat well with me… and now it seems it’s actually an urban myth!

Entrepreneur.com, in an article titled “Failure to Launch?“, reports:

…approximately half of all new businesses were still operating after four years. Headd and other researchers have had similar findings. “To my knowledge, none of them nor myself have run into a substantiated finding [showing] 9 out of 10 fail the first year,” Headd says.

So for some reason this urban myth has been passed on, year after year, person to person, discouraging people from entrepreneurship. The article sums it up quite nicely:

At any rate, it seems clear that some people simply want to believe that entrepreneurship is harder than it really is.

If I were a cynic I’d say that “The Man” has passed on this “wisdom” in order to stifle competition and keep the worker bees content… But I’m no cynic ;-) so I think this urban legend is probably just an expression of peoples’ fear of uncertainty.

So there you go folks. Yes, it’s not easy to start something, but it’s also not as hard as you think. My advice is then to get out there and just do it!

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I was planning to write a post called “What Makes a Good Software Entrepreneur?” when I came across this article about the Top Signals of Success for Software Entrepreneurs. Great! Now I don’t have to write the post. ;-)

So the Top Signals of Success for Software Entrepreneurs are:

  • You like to experiment
  • You like to read and learn
  • You like to tinker and build
  • You are opportunistic
  • You are an artist
  • You Live On Email
  • You are considerate, respectful and nice
  • You have a proclivity for action
  • You attract others like yourself
  • You are a realist
  • You are exceptionally intelligent
  • You are fundamentally likable
  • You exhibit “balanced frugality”
  • You work hard
  • You just love the game

(Be sure to read the article for explanations.)

While I don’t agree with everything on the list (pretty much only because I hate email ;-) ), on the whole I thought the article got it right. It’s hard, however, to self-evaluate many of these characteristics.

Of course I can’t really speak with any real authority on the subject yet, being only an entrepreneur-in-training… So I’ll be sure to revisit this subject again when I hit one out of the ballpark. ;-)

Our friend Mat Balez is looking for a partner for his project: codename::ideack.

From his posting:

I’m looking for someone to help me build the thing, likely in a partnership capacity. Someone with significant Ruby on Rails (or Python/Django if you are convincing) and Javascript expertise to lead the site’s development, and with design chops sufficient to create something that might be characterized as ‘easy on the eyes’.

If you are this person, you will be:

– passionate about web technologies
– capable of building software that will scale
– eager to work hard to help bootstrap a cool new web project
– an all around good person
– preferably based in Montreal

If interested, send me an email and we’ll get together to chat further.

Best of luck in your partner search Mat! I’ll be fully supporting you in this project as we start to create a startup culture in this town of ours. :)

StandoutJobs Logo

Today I am finally unveiling the new startup that I keep talking about — StandoutJobs. I am working on StandoutJobs with two incredibly rockin’ co-founders: Ben Yoskovitz and Austin Hill.

If you’ve been reading our blogs, you may have noticed that we’ve brought up recruiting issues from time to time. Unfortunately we are not yet prepared to announce more than just a landing page, but you can be assured that we are out to do no less than totally change the way recruiting is done. It’s gonna be a wild ride and I hope you’ll come with us.

Finally, I have to echo Ben’s sentiments in saying that it’s an absolute blast working with these two guys. I too have already learned a huge amount and I have never felt more challenged or inspired in years.

So whatcha waiting for? Leave us your email address at standoutjobs.com and you’ll be the first to know when things start shakin’ and bakin’.