Pando

Startups Anonymous: Student entrepreneurship seems rigged…

By Startups Anonymous , written on October 22, 2014

From The News Desk

[This is a weekly series that brings you raw, first-hand experiences from founders and investors in the trenches. Their story submissions are anonymous, allowing them to share openly without fear of retribution. Every Wednesday, we'll run one new story chosen by Dana Severson, who operates StartupsAnonymous, a place for startups to share, ask questions, and  answer them in story-length posts, all anonymously. You can share your own story here.]

This is for those whose family will keep supporting them so they can plug away fulltime.

I’m a recent graduate coming off a failed startup, but I had to work for over a year to save up the funds to support myself for around 8 months – and I still have student debt.

I have a strong drive to try something else, but it will take time I don’t have. Immediate concerns are more pressing, such as paying off student debts and, oh I don’t know, being able to eat out with friends once in a while and pay for myself. I never realized just how expensive having a social life was.

So I’ll go back to “the cycle” as I call it: work a few years, save money, then take time to pursue my passions and actually enjoy life. What can I say, I’m a bit sour that I’m back at this stage of the cycle. It will be a while before I can pursue another idea seriously. Another disadvantage of being “less affluent” is that you start to feel guilt: what right do I have to try this startup thing when others around me are struggling in “The Real World”? Friends and family work jobs fulltime to make ends meet, shouldn’t I?

Being a student, I was able to push this away, because, hey, I’m still doing this school thing. But now that I’ve graduated and entered “The Real World”, things seem very different. There is an immediate financial responsibility to which I must tend. So back to job hunting…

It seems like every well-off kid I know at Stanford is living a life that is objectively better than mine, in terms of both opportunity and just having a good time. Because let’s face it, if you’re here, you probably agree that having to work sucks compared to starting a startup. It would be great to be in a world where you and your friends are not only all smart and motivated (as I would describe mine), but also have the means to pursue a startup without much worry (what we lack).

[Image source: Thousandaire]