Entreporn, a term brilliantly coined by Amy Hoy holds us back from our true potential.
It works to the advantage of almost every player in our industry that we “believe” in chasing the next big thing. They need us to keep chasing it. In the truest sense — the next big thing — is a carrot on a stick that keeps us occupied and keeps them in business.
I wish I could point the finger at one specific company, person, or party and say — it’s “their” fault — but there is no conspiracy here. It simply “is” because each player (VC, corporation, media) has become so good at optimizing their part — that the system as a whole keeps us distracted and chasing after a shimmer in the dessert .
It behooves the likes of Techcrunch, Time magazine and 60 Minutes that we care about Mark Zuckerberg’s outlier story because that’s how they sell advertising. It works out for VC’s that we keep chasing investment because that’s how they make their daily bread. It’s awesome for corporations that we chase very-unlikely-to-succeed break free strategies because then we don’t leave our job.
What they don’t publicize, and what they scoff at, is the concept of the “lifestyle business”. You’re lead to believe that it’s a waste of time, and in fact the category was derided by a VC talking to Mike Arrington as “dipshit companies”.
But here’s the truth.
If every developer was to focus on the very achievable goal of building a lifestyle/micro business — the entire house of cards would crumble.
And they know it.
The absolute truth is that each and every one of us can build a business that can support us. We don’t need to build a million dollar business to survive. We just need a regular paycheck. Just like the paycheck that we already get working for someone else, except it’s a paycheck we pay ourselves.
If you build a micro business it means you’re your own boss, you make your own rules, you live life on your own terms.
If you genuinely have the spirit of an entrepreneur inside of you, it’s perfectly possible to build a $10k/month webapp business that can set you free.
But even better, once you have the knowledge that comes along with building a succesful $10k/month business, you also posses the exact same knowledge that it takes to build a $100k/month business.
The chances of building a Google, YouTube or Facebook and scaling to the millions of users required to be “considered” for VC investment are vanishingly small. We’re talking in the region of 0.0001%.
However the chances of building a $10k/month webapp business is pretty high. In truth, there is no reason to fail — other than failing to learn from your mistakes.
Imagine if we all did that. We would be free.
. . .
I’m creator of Nugget, an online incubator & community. We help founders start and grow profitable side projects.
Originally published 2011 at justinvincent.com.