Illustration of Derek Powazek by Adam Ellis

Starting Up: The Love

cute-fightWe’re working feverishly on Cute-Fight right now, so I’m thinking about startups. This is one of those thoughts.

If you go to business school, they teach you about indicators and predictive analysis. You’re taught to identify a market opportunity and exploit it. Your personal affinity toward the particular market doesn’t factor into the equation.

I did not go to business school. I learned everything I know about business from making websites, working at startups, and experimentation for kicks. I learned the most watching startups fail. I’ve had a pretty good education.

I once half-started a company. I identified a market opportunity, built a business plan, bought some domains, and started building. And then one morning I woke up and realized that, if everything went perfectly, I’d spend every day doing something I hated. The market opportunity was awesome – I just wasn’t the guy to do it. I had no love for it.

One way of looking at entrepreneurship is this: What will you look forward to doing every morning? You should start a company around that.

Because, truth be told, startups are hard. Like, really hard. So if you don’t have The Love for what you’re working on, you’re going to fail. Or, put another way: most startups fail, so you might as well spend the time working on something you enjoy, just in case you succeed.

If Cute-Fight is successful, I’ll wake up every morning to look at adorable pets. Not bad, as dayjobs go.


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Hi, I’m Derek. I make awesome community-centric web stuff. I sometimes post things to Flickr and Twitter. I’m mostly harmless. More.





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