VC and GRP Partner Mark Suster had a fantastic piece in TechCrunch on what it’s like to be an entrepreneur and how it isn’t for the feint of heart.
While I suggest reading it in its entirety, there were two parts that resonated with me. First was his list of qualities/attribute entrepreneurs should have. Here’s the list:
– Not very status oriented
– Doesn’t follow rules very well and questions authority
– Can handle high degrees of ambiguity or uncertainty
– Can handle rejection, being told “no” often and yet still have the confidence in your idea
– Very decisive. A bias toward making decisions – even when only right 70% of the time – moving forward & correcting what doesn’t work
– A high level of confidence in your own ideas and ability to execute
– Not highly susceptible to stress
– Have a high risk tolerance
– Not scared or ashamed of failure
– Can handle long hours, travel, lack of sleep and the trade-offs of having less time for hobbies & other stuff
The other part that struck me was his description of the highs and lows of the startup life, from getting that first round of funding to losing one of your top VPs and a big contract in the same week. We romanticize the startup life here in Silicon Valley, but the truth is that it’s hell, and if you aren’t prepared to walk through fire for your startup, then don’t do it.