Founders have this weird tendency to aspire and believe they can reach the top 1% of any given field when in reality they never will. I’m talking specifically about startups in this case. The media has helped glorify billion dollar startups (known as ‘Unicorns’) and their founders that have come out of Silicon Valley over the last 10 years.
This has shaped the conversation and ambitions on the ground floor. I’ve spent time with a lot of young first-time entrepreneurs over the last few years. There is a common theme among some of them – they aspire to start billion dollar businesses.
This doesn’t make sense and is an inefficient use of a generations combined capabilities. Unicorns are not the norm – they are outliers.
You might be thinking – “aren’t we supposed to encourage our future entrepreneurial leaders to reach for the stars?” And I’d agree that we should, but only to an extent.
The main issue I see with encouraging the goal of joining the ‘3 comma club’ is that it breeds a dangerous environment of unrealistic goals, wasted resources and sets up the individual for a negative toll on their mental health.