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Adii Pienaar

Now working on PublicBeta. Founder & ex-CEO of WooThemes. Author of Brandiing. New Dad. Ex-Rockstar.

Startups Are Getting Easier. Entrepreneurship Isn't.

Today, it's easier to start a startup than any other time in our history.

And it's likely only getting easier with each passing month.

We have so much information about what works and what doesn't. Founders are sharing their stories of success and failure in the spirit of enabling someone else to learn.

Talking about failure... As a society and ecosystem, we have embraced the concept and nobody needs to worry about any negative stigma associated with failing.

We also have the ability the reach out to the best of the best and create our own, virtual advisory board. And that at a couple of dollars a minute.

We have learned validation and testing techniques to mitigate the risk of our new startup idea(s) before we even really start.

There's more know-how and reasons ever to bootstrap your startup. Bootstrapping has spawned some amazing companies.

If bootstrapping isn't your cup of tea, you can easily raise external funding online or go the crowdsourcing route.

Technology has enabled us to build remote companies, removing another (very physical and geographical) barrier.

We also have so many great frameworks and starter kits available to build an MVP of a new web or mobile app on a minimal budget.

On top of all of this, tech startups are sexy as fuck. Just look at the coverage it is getting in mainstream media and then it's kinda obvious that tech startups are attracting the brightest minds and best talent.

And of course everyone else that suffers from FOMO in some way or another. (Because you just have to have the latest useless iOS app installed, otherwise you'll be the odd one out at the drinks meetup tomorrow evening.)

Startups truly have become so much easier. But there's no data to suggest that we've become any better startups or creating profitable, sustainable and successful companies.

Why is that?

Because entrepreneurship hasn't become easier. Simple as that.


Being an entrepreneur has never been for the fainthearted.

It's not about the risks one has to take, because entrepreneurs intrinsically understand the risk vs reward ratio.

It's also not about the failure, because - whilst that still sucks - it's become easier to admit defeat and getting back on our feet.

Plus, when a good founder fails, there's normally loads of opportunities to act as a safety net afterwards.

I've been learning the hard way that the reason entrepreneurship hasn't become easier is the mental and emotional challenges that we face whilst pursuing this ambition of ours.

It's a rollercoaster-like life as an entrepreneur. And that bit hasn't become easier.

As individuals, we're inherently flawed and even though there's so many other things going for us, we can't suddenly change our nature. When we feel down, we feel down.

One of the biggest things that lead to me pressing pause on PublicBeta was the feeling that I am (alone) ultimately responsible and accountable for the success or failure of my startup. It wasn't because it was a bad idea or that there wasn't traction; it was because my body and mind stopped being able to take on that responsibility and accountability.


The irony in all of this is that I knew this before I even started working on PublicBeta and fixing this was a big part of my passion and the reason for PublicBeta.

I wanted to help other entrepreneurs, because I believe the the individual and the entrepreneur needs more support.

Your startup is fine; it's you that are suffering.

So it's with pride that I can announce the release of one of the final projects that we worked on at PublicBeta: a free e-book, The Rollercoaster Life, which specifically looks at the ups, downs and everything in-between that challenges us on our entrepreneurial journeys.

The book tells the stories and shares the experiences that helped other founders through their successes, and importantly, their failures.

Grab your free copy here.

And look after yourself. :)


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