I've come to a conclusion that entrepreneurship is just next to impossible

  1. Toys R Us = bankrupt
  2. Equifax incident showed us what liability risk exposed looks like
  3. Overcapacity of metals sector in China shows us what happens to high cost producers like smelters in America's rust belt
  4. bad financial management : Lehman Bros
  5. Inability to be a good steward of capital = Bernie Madoff
  6. Inability to deliver a proper product that works = Theranos
  7. Even if the product does work will they buy it (the customers ? ) = Juicero
  8. How do you know your distribution model won't screw you over ? Sears + WMT < Amazon, Blockbuster < Netflix
  9. Labor unions
    10 Liability risk = Chipotle E.Coli incident
  10. better substitutes ? Carbon fiber replacing aluminum in planes
  11. Litigation risk ? Class action lawsuit against Samsung for phones exploding
  12. Even if you do have a product how do you distribute it ? Tesla arm-twisted into distributing via existing car distributors due to corrupt governor-distributor lobby nexus in MIchigan.

Sorry pals. Starting a venture today and making it a commercial success is next to impossible. It's just not going to happen. Enjoy your desk job for the 60 years of your life. Maybe if you're lucky enough, you can afford a Porsche. Don't expect more than that.
Everyone is interested in being the next blah blah, but they don't see how they can become the next Bernie Madoff or Toys R Us.

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Comments (31)

Sep 19, 2017 - 6:24pm

you don't know if that's a fact. but everything i listed in points is a depiction of true events.

D.I.
Sep 16, 2021 - 11:17am

Everything you also listed is at the extreme end of the negatives.  

You do know that the owner of your local dry cleaners is an entreprenuer right?  No one said it is easy, but to say it is next to impossible would be an insane statement.  A huge segment of the American working population are self employed. 

Sep 19, 2017 - 1:34pm

There are definitely plenty of businesses out there that are still very successful. Hell, I have a friend that makes a descent living fixing old vaporizers and selling them online at a discount. It is not impossible to be an entrepreneur, however, it is not easy. As an example starting an investment advisory and managing it honestly has not been ruined because of Bernie Madoff. Sears had a pretty solid run before it reached where it is at today and walmart is not quite near the verge of going extinct. The people who started these companies were well rewarded from their efforts (exception of Bernie Madoff as he was just skilled thief). If you have an idea and are willing to risk it you can still go for it and if you were right you could expect to be compensated handsomely.

Only two sources I trust, Glenn Beck and singing woodland creatures.
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Sep 19, 2017 - 1:46pm

A few bad apples (hell, not all of those are done and gone) aren't very representative of entrepreneurship.
Most of those examples are perhaps a failure of the business to adapt, but there is an entrepreneur on the other side who did adapt. Even then, as Ehmerica said, the original entrepreneurs in these companies likely cashed out and made a good living.

Sep 19, 2017 - 6:39pm

There are many obstacles, it's true. I have the SECRET to building s SUCCESSFUL COMPANY. If you TRULY want to ROLL IN THE MONEY like my previous clients Zuckerberg, Gates, Rockefeller, and Rothschild, join my INTENSE STARTUP BOOTCAMP and I'll give you a 75% OFF DISCOUNT!

Sep 15, 2021 - 4:42am

You set up 4 business, 3 fail, 1 makes you a billionaire. What counts in the end?

Never discuss with idiots, first they drag you at their level, then they beat you with experience.

Sep 15, 2021 - 4:55am

Coming from a VC background, I think that every industry has bad apples or simply businesses that didn't work out.

That doesn't mean nobody should ever try it. If nobody tried anything we wouldn't have the life we have atm.

A friend of mine quit his job in London, and moved with his wife to Mumbai (his wife is Indian). They took all their money and threw it at 12 tech companies/startups. I believe 6 or 7 failed immediately, 3 are surviving, and 2 had a 7x/12x return. Neither one of them had a background in finance or VC and barely knew enough about tech.

Sometimes you have to do unusual things to make it happen.

Sep 15, 2021 - 5:30am

They are just a married couple that saved up. They have zero financial experience, no financial education, no MBA. They just did it and got lucky (with some good judgement, of course).

Sep 15, 2021 - 7:30am

Entrepreneurism isn't primarily analytical. It's about passion. Do you need to be analytical? No. It helps but you don't need to be. As you grow it would be beneficial to have someone be strategic (likely founder) and someone tactical (growth operator). Usually different people as they require very different mindsets and personalities. Funny this forum speaks primarily to banking and money / wealth. As a business owner in the financial space, I know far more wealthy small business owners than bankers. Guess it depends how you define wealth, but even if you measure it with $s there are tons of business owners making well into seven figures and have businesses that can be sold.

As an example, good friend owns a company worth low 8 figures and pulls out 750k per yr with minimal work (these days, used to be much more I'm sure). Has for over 20 years. Could have sold it many times over that period but loves the cash flow. His company makes springs for recliners (think Lazyboy type stuff). That's it. That's all they do.

Another buddy owns /operates a chain of BBQ joints (6 locations) in NC / GA. Great cash flow from the business and nice wealth creation from the RE. He could sell the business for a few mil and hold on to the property to collect rent forever. RE is worth at least 8M.

In both cases, they LOVED what they did / do in terms of building a business. That's the key. Passion!

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Sep 15, 2021 - 3:36pm

Yeah it's pretty surprising that more people on here don't try to start something on their own for a couple of years. They say it's because they're risk averse, but if you already have the pedigree of banking => pe or even just banking, taking a couple of years to build a biz isn't risky at all. Worst case, you enroll in b school if your attempt fails, or you just go back to banking. It's much more risky to keep your source of income in the control of someone else (your employer) for your entire life. From talking to biz owners over the past year (RE and ecomm), it's never been more clear to me that the best thing to do is take risks and grab as much equity as possible early on in life. 

In the above cases, were they passionate about it to begin with or did the passion build over time? I'd imagine anyone who's building their own company and starts seeing it's going to work for them will become passionate about it. For example, I know someone who started an ecomm biz with a random product that he didn't have much interest in but he knew there was a solid market for it. He became more and more passionate about it the more it scaled as he was working on different aspects of the biz and it was like a game to him, trying to get better every year.

Sep 15, 2021 - 3:49pm

Great post. I'm a business owner and I've always said (when people ask me about risk taking) that I think the riskiest position to be in is working for someone else, them controlling your pay AND time. Entrepreneurs just view things differently. I used to ask myself what would someone have to pay me  be their employee, knowing I wouldn't make more than X and my time wouldn't be mine (probably the biggest issue). I could never come up with an answer because being controlled by someone else isn't natural to me. Traditional workers think differently. More like, how can that guy over there risk not knowing when or if he'll get paid, where new clients come from, etc.

It's just a different mindset. Personally I have the mindset that no compensation happens ahead of value creation. However, once value is created, there's no limit on comp, opportunities, etc. I used to attend a business owner "study group" for lack of a better term. We'd meet quarterly for 2 days, brainstorm ideas (all different industries but all owners) see what was working and what wasn't, do some goal setting, check in on progress,  You'd be amazed at the synergies in the room. many of us became clients of each other (which would pay for the meetings at luxury locations) and I always left with at least one good 250k idea. Up to me to flesh out and implement. This is what entrepreneurs do. We don't really understand workers (although we have many working for us) and they don't understand us. I laugh when people say they're studying entrepreneurship in college. It doesn't work like that. There's no formula or method. 

Sep 15, 2021 - 3:42pm

I just remembered this is the dude who shat on working class people black and white alike. Lmfao and he has this loser mentality.

Never discuss with idiots, first they drag you at their level, then they beat you with experience.

Sep 15, 2021 - 11:43pm

Elizabeth Holmes would agree with me. Glad I'm not in her shoes.

D.I.
Sep 16, 2021 - 12:43am

Successful Entrepreneurship is really the dream - you keep most of the profits, you make your own schedule - what could be better?

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

Sep 16, 2021 - 12:43am

You don't really have a manager…

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Sep 16, 2021 - 9:50am

Idk why people are entertaining this retard. This whole post is either a really unfunny troll attempt or the OP is brain dead

Sep 16, 2021 - 11:21am

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D.I.
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