The Crazy Potential of our Startup World: why should we join it?

10 January 2017

London's tech hub is booming; in fact, it's booming all over the world. Everywhere you look someone has had a great idea and we’re doing things that we'd never have believed possible even ten years ago. You can almost hear our human network of knowledge, communication and prediction spiderwebbing around the globe, carried on the crest of these waves of technological innovation. Technology is saving lives, predicting natural disasters before they happen, unravelling disease, giving us the power to travel anywhere in the globe. It's building the most beautiful and breathtaking buildings in the world, solving world hunger, it's even helping us to know what to wear and how to be ourselves.

These spring-up startups are creating millions of jobs (a good thing, surely?) but as fast as we find ourselves as a society with a higher demand for computer scientists than we can muster up, still there is growing doubt. People are scared to take the plunge and join these unknown companies. Are they right to be concerned? 

Why should we work in the startup world?
 
One in ten startups will succeed, I'm told. That means nine out of ten will fail. What's the tradeoff we are implementing when we risk throwing in our lots with them? How do you pick the winners from the losers? If they're small, will they be small in a year's time? It’s true that there’s really no way to tell, but bear in mind; who really wanted to work for Google ten years ago?! 
Yes, there's a *risk* attached to jumping on the startup bandwagon (depending on definition), but it seems to me that human beings love to gamble. We live in a society governed by risks that we are constantly trying to mitigate, but perhaps the question we should be asking is SHOULD all risks be mitigated? How did the first man walk in space? We took a risk. How did we build aeroplanes and submarines; could we live below the water before? No, we took a risk. As a race, how do we ever take a step forward into the future, without first passing through the unknown?

It seems to me that achieving something new and innovative and exciting only comes through taking risks, and not being afraid of failure. And perhaps most important of all, let me ask you this: what is the worst that can happen if the startup you join fails this time next year? You up and join the next one! After all, people change jobs all the time and it’s really not the end of life on earth when there’s something new around the corner!

I suppose what I'm trying to say is this: the next big thing is out there. In fact, innovation is like aeroplanes coming in to land: there's always something new on the horizon, something half formed and oozing risk which cannot hope to rival it's glow of potential. Our city of startup companies are like eggs waiting to hatch. And that's the crazy potential of our startup world so why not give it a go!

We'd love to hear your thoughts on this post or talk to you if you are considering a career change into a start up nicolep@campbell-north.com 
 

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