Why are YOU doing a startup?


I saw a similar question but posed in a different way with few responses. So thought I'd ask specifically why you are doing a startup?

I had drinks with some friends last weekend and one guy I don't really know started drilling me. He was arrogant, bragging about his job at a big Japanese company, his big salary and bonuses (he's in sales) and basically couldn't understand why I'd make less money, especially working in marketing, to be at a startup.

Personally I love being able to make a difference, being part of a small team and making significant decisions that can help the company succeed or battle against failure.

I love working with a passionate team, busting butts to try and succeed.

I love the lack of politics (or at least a lot less of it).

I love the building and creating. Building a team of people, of outside partners and resources, getting customers for the first time. Love getting people excited about what we do.

I love the ability to play many different roles.

I love looking forward to getting to the office each day, working with the team of people, doing my job best I can, seeing successes, battling failures. Enjoying my job is more important than anything.

There are lots of not so good things and maybe of those points above could be accomplished in a big company. So this is really important for me as I take a step back and question myself.

Why are YOU doing a startup?


asked Feb 27 '10 at 02:44
4,214 points

6 Answers


When I read your question I though "I could have written this!"

I've been working in my current company almost 7 years ago.

I joined when the company was really a startup.
We had 3 customers, some VC money and a bunch of passionate people.
I skipped the basement phase (3 guys stuck in a basement building a product), but I am employee number 17!

I feel that in these 7 years I've grown as a professional more than I could have grown somewhere else. All the daily challenges, trying to do grand things with little budget, coming up with new ideas that CAN be implemented.

I worked for a large multinational for 5 years, so I know the inner workings. I wouldn't go back to those days. It was good, fun, a learning experience... but the "machine" was already there and there was little room for invention (or innovation). In those companies it's hard not to become a heartless robot...

That guy you mentioned doesn't have the most important ingredient that makes a great professional and person: PASSION.

He's just in for the money (the good old fortune and fame). He doesn't give a damn about building a great new product that will shape people's lives, or redefine how companies operate.

Why are You doing a startup?

To solve THAT problem that no one has figured out yet, and deliver THAT product that will shape the future, and to have a hell of a great time doing it. With passion!

answered Feb 27 '10 at 06:33
825 points
  • Great answer. I bumped into someone who worked for me many years ago at an event. Hadn't seen him for years and years. He's worked at a huge tech company for the past decade. As we caught up I told him it must be nice to work at a big company for so long and have some sense of job security, some sense they're not going under in 6 months. He surprised me by saying he hated it and wanted to get out. He said often people don't do the "right" thing, they do the thing that's politically correct or that their boss wants them to do, even if they know it's wrong. – Chris 14 years ago


20 years of implementing someone else's vision and taking marching orders from OTHERS for THEIR profit and glory - many of my ideas during that time were stowed away. some died. some stayed with me. NONE was implemented. EVER. I NEVER TRIED.

It's MY time now. I will implement MY vision for MY profit and MY glory... understandably, I might fail, but to me, getting to a point where I FAIL is still a victory. It's a victory because it means I actually TRIED and this so much better than never daring to leave the ranks of those DO AS THEY'RE TOLD, working to make OTHERS successful.

That's my reason for starting a start-up.....

answered Feb 28 '10 at 09:27
Ron M.
4,224 points


I'm doing it for the challenge and the potential financial reward. I love challenges and hate monotony ;)

answered Feb 28 '10 at 12:25
Olivier Lalonde
2,753 points


Since when I was attending university, I wanted to found a software startup. Two months ago I did.

The reasons are not many: being able to decide for myself, doing what I really care about, and the need to prove to myself (and others) that I can do it. So far, I've enjoyed every minute of this journey. As you said, I even look forward to go to the office (it never happened before).

answered Mar 1 '10 at 16:51
655 points


I wanna prove to the world that I can pull it off too.

answered Mar 1 '10 at 14:06
G Rex
683 points
  • That is nice man. Not too many people are confident to say that. – Jpartogi 14 years ago


Because my mind has found a problem and won't let me quit until I turn it into a business!


  • for the challenge,
  • because I can work for myself and play my own game,
  • to prove something to myself
  • for the opportunity for financial gain for my family
  • and for the experience, money and time to use my skills to help others who face poverty in the developing world.

That's it!

answered May 26 '10 at 13:30
Susan Jones
4,128 points

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