A Hiccup in the #StartupVisa Bill, But I’m Okay With It
A few recent events …
1. Recently I had a discussion with a Babson faculty member, for whom I have tremendous respect, about much of entrepreneurial education missing the point. On one extreme it is about theory, business plans, 5 year cash-flows, to most young entrepreneurs, what is termed as bullshit. On the other extreme, it champions young hotshots who have raised money. It makes venture capital the most aspirational of all goals. I sometimes cannot believe I actually spent time studying the components of a J-curve. What about building a great profitable business?
2. In a ridiculously yet awesomely long episode of @Jason Calcanis’s This Week In Startups(#TWIST), guest David Heinemeier Hansson, Partner in 37 Signals, criticized passionately the entire entrepreneurial landscape for being too focused on coasting on other people’s money rather than hustling to make your own.
- Jason argued for the home runs, large amounts of capital were necessary.
- DHH retorted that those home runs are like trying to win the lottery.
- Jason didn’t disagree, agreeing the large majority of VCs either perform below market or lose money.
In their recent book, Rework, DHH and Jason Fried argue that ‘entrepreneur’ is a bad word with too much baggage. What happened to building a profitable business from the low hanging fruit, similar argument Gary Vee makes.
3. All of the articles on StartupVisa Bill are just me-too, which is fine, that’s just how journalism works. It’s the same Geoffrey Moore diffusion of innovation curve, one influences the other, etc. The real juice comes from Eric Ries. But what is really interesting is the me-too articles draw varying comments from different demographics, i.e. not everyone reading Inc is reading Eric Ries’s blog Startup Lessons Learned. What I find amazing is this absolute illogical argument that a StartupVisa would take away American jobs.
Fact: My startup is three Americans and me. I’m now in Shanghai because of this; Invent a Cool Clothing Site, Now Leave the Country. From June, two of my co-founders are joining me in Shanghai. So yes, a lack of #StartupVisa is in fact taking jobs away from America.
4. Our recent team conversations have shifted very much from ‘we want to build a great business and bootstrap to profitability’ to ‘if by some statistical anomaly the #StartupVisa gets passed, we’re going to have to try and raise $250,000 to get Fan back in the country’.