Sign up FAST! Login

3 reasons to start a company: Fame, Money, or Friendship. ~@vkhosla via @xconomy

Stashed in: Startups, #success, Motivation, Influence!, Emotion, @vkhosla, Mission, Business Advice

To save this post, select a stash from drop-down menu or type in a new one:

I love that Wade Roush of Xconomy is in a good mood partly thanks to the "terrific" 106 Miles event Get Bigger with Vinod Khosla this week!

Wade's article about the event includes many wonderful things, among them the line from Vinod,

There are three possible reasons to start a company: so that you can be famous, so that never have to balance your checkbook again, or just to make friends. They are all good reasons, but if you are clear about your reason, you will build a much more successful company.

I love that. He also talks about founders, ride your emotions:

Passion for what you are doing is the single biggest determinant of success or failure. Get passionate, believe in something, so that when the problems come, you can survive the roller coaster ride.

And about how startups are about creating options:

Startups are about creating the most options at every step of the process, since you never know where the path is going to lead you. I liken the early stages of a startup to a roundabout. There are six roads leading in different directions. Too many startups, egged on by their VCs, pick a road too early. Before you decide to spend four or five years pursuing this road, it’s valuable to go around the circle a few more times.

Wade Roush wrote a wonderful article, and I highly recommend you read the whole thing:

See also: Get Bigger, Embedding emotions into a product.

And: Best Convos for Founders.


I do think there's a fourth reason to start a company: You have a great mission and want to bring a product or service to the world in service of that mission.

That could fall under "fame"...

I don't know if I agree Lara. Although I could be wrong, wanting to make the world a better place through product or service, has very little self-absorbed interest and deals exclusively with helping others IMO.

Although my question would be... Can they co-exist? Do they need to co-exist? If a company provides a useful service or product without the knowledge of the world, has there truly been an impact? If "fame" has been reached without impact is it just perceived value or bad publicity?

Fame is self centered. Having a great mission is not (well, unless that mission is becoming a legend in one's own mind :-)

Flip, you're right. A great mission is a great driving force.

Reason two and three are close for me. The larger reason (for me) is to help people.

I agree with you, Kelly: I think the best reason to start a company is that you have a great mission and you want to build a product in service of that mission.

Having said that, it helps to start a company with people you could be friends with.

Exactly!!! 100%

none of the 3 are valid reasons in my book. to each his own.

Insik, what is a valid reason to start a company?

maybe they're valid. i find exception to the word "possible". I started my companies because I wanted to solve a big problem that impacted a large audience and got fulfillment in building and delivering the solution. I relish the days spent keeping my customers up and running and couldn't remember what I did when we IPO'ed. as my friend Ari Zilka once said - i would love to be the guy that invented the ATM. very few people know who that person is but its impact is appreciated by the entire world. as engineers we thrive on having huge impact to society by our creations. fame/money/friendship do not fundamentally enter into the equation.

You wanted to solve big problems for the sake of solving big problems? Or was your primary motivation the glory, wealth, or relationships that come with solving big problems?

What if it's more than one of those - is that still clear?

More than one is good, but there can only be one that is highest priority.

You May Also Like: