When startups fail (and the vast majority must,
by the laws of probability), it’s hard not to search for a scapegoat.
After all, doesn’t everyone deserve a glowing profile in TechCrunch?
Often, embittered entrepreneurs fall back on two explanations: Luck, and connections.
The luck-blamers take the position that startups are a crapshoot.
“It’s all a matter of luck. If we weren’t unlucky, I would be Mark
The connections-conspiracy theorists take the
opposite position–“they” are rigging the game. “Everyone knows that
she’d buddies with Arrington. That’s why they get all that coverage.”
They’re both right.
Luck plays a huge role in startup success. Out of every 1,000 startups, only 6 succeed in making money for investors. Do you think
the right 6 always succeed?
Connections are also key. A VC
can’t fund a firm she never meets. It’s no secret that the best way to
get a meeting is to know the VC already.
But what gets me is
that the blamers and haters don’t take the next logical step–turning
what they perceive as the world’s unfairness to their advantage.
If you think it’s all about luck, why aren’t you trying more things?
If you think it’s all about connections, why aren’t you out trying to make those connections?
If you think you know the formula for success (getting lucky, knowing the right people), why not follow it?
If you don’t succeed with your current startup. It’s not your fault.
But if you’re not successful in your career, it is your fault.