To Startup Or Not To Startup

Is That The Question?

This article is re-posted from my (now repurposed) Medium blog. Original post date: Nov 12, 2013

Ah, the romance of a startup life. Making your own decisions, handling your own customers, trying to make money from a product you really love. Well, it sucks really.

It takes a big chunk out of your life. It takes you away from the ones you really care about. It makes you live shorter (I guess, I dunno).

But it is one hell of a ride. I compare being in a startup as like being in an indie band; performing your own songs at intimate venues, with a small group of devoted fans, one or two cool reviews and a lot of cynical critics, — with people booing you to get off the stage. Then there are those lonely nights, when you restlessly wonder whether or not you can make ends meet. Pretty grim, huh?

People say you need to focus. It’s true. But that’s easier said than done. Especially in Indonesia’s startup environment.

Bootstrapping is sometimes the sane choice. Just like the members of some indie bands, you have your day jobs and you perform with the band during the weekends. Essentially to keep your life, and your music, going. Until that big break came. Or until the spirit breaks.

But be glad that you’ve tried it. It is a kick-ass story you can tell to your friends, — and your kids, should you survive the ride. So listen up young ones, you still have the luxury of failing fast and failing hard. And failing on your own startup is a big profit on the long-run. So go out there, make those ideas brewing in your head, and do your thing. Ship it, fuck it. If you stumble, stand up and repeat the shitty path of running a startup all over again. You’ll be glad you did.

The dull world of corporate life will always be there for you.

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