Startup people: start to procreate.
This is my second post this year on the subject of baby production. Maybe I am trying to convince myself that NOW is the best time to have kids (startup in full swing, potential diapers money being spent on servers)? Let’s see if I can convince you, too.
Millennials are responsible for majority of amazing startups entering the market right now or already making our life easier. Great companies don’t just happen overnight. Unless you ARE Instagram, it will usually take you good few years to get noticed. That is if you ever get that far.
You are very likely to be a university dropout, don’t get grumpy here. The numbers don’t lie. I have nothing against education, but sometimes it’s education that stops you from achieving great things by giving you false confidence. It makes you relax, trusting in the power of your certificate rather than in working hard.
So you have a dream, and a plan how to help materialize it. Your peers were popping babies and/or climbing up the corporate ladder, but after feeling like they all secretly laugh at your supposed illiteracy due to the lack of collage degree, it is now your time to shine. You are your own boss. The profit will come. It must come eventually, right..?
You put all the effort into proving your family and friends, that the fact you haven’t made a penny in two years is just a “process”.
No time for family, kids, commitments. Your startup is your baby and it requires commitment. Daily bug fixes are your equivalent of nappy changes for now. It’s consuming all your time and all your money. It may just be the most expensive kid you could ever have.
You have a bigger fish to fry and secretly laugh at friends who spend two years of their life awake trying to figure out, why is the baby crying, when clearly there is noting wrong with it. You spend your time awake for all different reason.
Time is flying and you may just have built a prototype or entered public beta. You are in your early 30s. Your friends drop their kids to school whilst you wake up and make a coffee in peace. No one is disturbing you. Sometimes you think about it, maybe even plan for kids in the near future, but since you have spent all your cash on hosting this month, there wasn’t much left to take your recent squeeze out for a meal, and unless you adopt, you would really need a woman crazy enough to put up with the daily financial uncertainty of your “profession” so for now you are on your own.
Women are leaving, bills are coming. It is getting a bit stressful. By now your parents look at you with pity and the spark of curiosity that was there when you started is gone. They suggest you should get a job and start paying them off the money you borrowed.
You are trying to calm them down and show them how responsible and mature you are by bringing a date for Sunday dinner. Mother is in awe of everything your female friend does, hoping she will make you quit this silly startup world, get a normal job, and finally have a family of your own. Except, that’s not what you want. Not yet anyway.
“There! Look! We are in TechCrunch mum!” You are showing your laptop in your parents face, mumbling something about TechCrunch being the equivalent of Washington Post and the Guardian of the Internet world.
Things at home settle for a while. Your friends are proudly putting pictures of their kids in their first school uniforms. You feel slightly left out again so you get a dog and set him up with a Facebook Page.
Another year goes past and all the freemium users that signed up for your product never came back. The 4% paid subscribers you’ve read about in the startup publications you’re subscribed to via RSS never materialised.
What now? Of course you can get a “normal” job, but that never proved to be a good solution. In the past you couldn’t hold a job due to always taking over. Your team mates always though you were doing it to impress the boss. You were simply doing it because you could do everything quicker and better than others. They should have been happy they didn’t have to do the work themselves, right?
So with no money and no idea where to get it from, you start tinkering around a new idea. You know what went wrong with the last one, you’re smart. Making the same mistake twice is not your style.
Whilst you tend to surround yourself with people similar to you, living on the interwebs and talking about churn in saas more often than their kid’s bowel movements, you still bump into the “outsiders” occasionally.
They may not understand how building a client base for a product that hasn’t got a plan to ever turn profit makes sense (yup, sometimes we don’t get it either) and they don’t care. You envy their lack of concern, but call it “lack of ambition”.
You say: “They just had a baby, their life is over” but deep inside you know, you would be happy having someone next to you, built a home and drop your kids to school every day, but there’s just one things that stops you from taking that leap of faith. It’s not the fact that you are not relationship and haven’t had a serious, stable partner since the last one said you are not a husband material. It’s not the fact you haven’t got money to support a child, although that’s quite an obvious fact you can no longer ignore.
The problem we’ve all got is the deep, enrooted belief we were made for bigger and better things. And those are possible if only I hold off the baby idea till I make my first million. Plus, most of your friends are single and kid free, so that makes is a norm, right? The world is overpopulated.. yes, we can use those arguments all day long, but the truth is world needs your kids. Think about it:
There’s never going to be the right time to procreate. If your next venture turns into a major success, you will be busier than ever. If it doesn’t: you will be broke and will not want to add the expense of a kid to the equation.
Your kids would have some amazing genes. Being an entrepreneur, you are a born optimist and have an abundance of ambition, two great traits you would want to see in your kids.
The world needs your children to move forward. You will ingrain the willingness to try new things into your kids straight from the start. They will grow to be open-minded and embrace the idea of experimenting with new things. It may sound scary now, but if you think about it, no one who follows the masses has ever come up with anything new and groundbreaking.
It will give you a purpose to work even harder. Having kids gives you a huge kick to stimulate yourself whenever you feel like taking a step back and relaxing or giving up.
You can differ having kids till “later”, but the old truth prevails: if you have kids, you will accommodate them and find a way to make do and have time.
You have gone through plenty of stressful situations with your startup that other “non startup” people would never want to go through. Outsourced developers took all your money and build something that barely stands on its own two feet? Google changed its algorithm again and your site dropped from first page ranking to the bottom of page five? Your co-founder decided to move on and started working for a competitor, taking half of the team with him? You have been cut off from external APIs after two years of building a product around them? You spend 3 days straight in a coding frenzy, just to notice you haven’t had a shower during all this time and the bread you used to make an odd sandwich or two is out of date since the last week? You will be fine with kids.
YoYou may not be able to compare those feeling now, but you are capable of commitment to the cause with all your heart and you are not a quitter: two major character traits required with kids. You tick both of those boxes with ease.
PS: This whole kid subject doesn’t sound so bad after all. I’m off reproducing. See ya!