And are they really stacked that much against entrepreneurs?<...>
One of the things that I've been very conscience of in the last year (and as a second-time founder) was my perception of how much the odds (of success) were stacked against me.
Looking exclusively at those statistics are enough to make even the most ignorant, semi-delusional and over-optimistic individual's eyes water about the prospect of being an entrepreneur.
I know; I've been there too on a few occassions.
But there's a couple of caveats that provides greater context to those numbers:
In all of these cases the truth is within the context and not the emperical failure or success rates.
I've had to remind myself of that as I embark on new journeys pursuing new ideas. Whilst the statistics obviously don't lie (per se), they never tell the full story.
To be successful, you only need one better-than-bad-idea which you work incredibly hard at. Mix in a little bit of luck, good (yet coincidental) timing and a persistence to continue knocking on doors, and you might just have yourself a success (according to your own, well-defined and personal metrics).
Only you get to define and determine those odds.