Unpopular opinions can sometimes cause panic. That’s why they are unpopular. Stanford Professor and Author, Bob Sutton, recently Tweeted this bombshell.”…the whole ecosystem is more similar to a Ponzi scheme than most at the top of the pyramid would like to admit.”
Why did he say this?
He was voicing his opinion of how he saw Silicon Valley and the startup industry.
Product guy Tyler Hogge voiced his opinion on Twitter. Due to his research, he said: “Founders are actually risk-averse and not these risk-loving crazy people. They might define risk differently than others, but they are risk averse still.” He was also weighing in on the mythology behind startups.
Non-profit executive Eileen Gill added this opinion to the debate: “You are far most likely to be successful if daddy is rich.”
These are just three of a host of current Tweets doing the round on a thread started by Andrew Chen.
Andrew Chen encouraged sharing unpopular opinions. Particularly in the Tech/Startup industry. What do we learn?
The idea that the Silicon Valley bubble is about to burst is shared by associate professor Steven Blank. He believes that investors are making unreasonably high bets on private companies.
Although we might like to romanticise the image of a maverick entrepreneur risking it all on a roll of the dice before making his millions, this, in fact, is an absolute myth. Successful startup owners are the most risk-averse individuals. They invest other peoples money. Not their own.
Unpopular Opinions that Make Sense
Another factor that is easily forgotten is that successful entrepreneurs have access to financial capital. This includes family money, inherited money, and even connections that provide financial stability.
So what do we learn from the above unpopular opinions that have proven to be more true than false? Firstly, don’t bank on the next big thing always coming out of Silicon Valley. Maybe your business idea or App is that very next big thing. Don’t hold back. Get it developed.
Do not take business risks. Find ways to get investors to spend their money on your venture. Keep your day job.
And finally, do not be ashamed of receiving backing from your family or dipping into an inherited fund. This is how all the big boys got where they are.