When I decided to join Craig and Collaborative Fund full-time, it was an incredible opportunity that he was presenting me, but a difficult decision. I was leaving behind an opportunity to build a business with two very close friends. We had been prototyping, had engaged some of our favorite investors, and were mapping out our business plan. I ultimately ended up not pursuing the startup in large part because of a conversation with my fiancee. She asked me: “why do you want to start this company? You have already pivoted a few times, so it can’t be because the idea has overwhelmed you?” In my conversation with her, I started thinking about why I wanted to do a startup, and why people do startups in general. I concluded that there are only two reasons to do a startup:
— There is a problem (or problem space) out in the world that, by virtue of your skills, network, and experience, you are uniquely well-suited to solve.
— There is a problem (or problem space) that you HAVE to solve. That you feel like you’ll go crazy if you don’t start working on solutions for immediately.
Neither of those was the case with the problem space I was tackling, so my answer was clear. And I couldn’t be happier with the decision that I made. It’s been a rollercoaster time with Collaborative Fund, and a great one. But over the past year and a half or so, I have met with hundreds of founders, tackling varying problem spaces with all-and-sundry relevant and irrelevant skillsets, and I’ve realized there is a third legitimate reason to be an entrepreneur: you are unemployable.
There are a few ways of “being unemployable”, and I’ve listed my favorites below:
— You tend to irrationally think your opinion is more right, and thereby hate having a boss.
— Your set of experiences and skills don’t translate to job openings at companies available to you.
— Your demographics make you an ‘unlikely’ candidate in your industry, so incumbent teams won’t hire you.
Among the pitches I’ve seen, there are as many entrepreneurs who started their companies under the ‘unemployable’ circumstances as they did under the “work on the right problem” circumstances. I’m officially adding “I’m unemployable” as a credible reason to start a company.