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Having been involved in five startups, Evernote CEO Phil Libin definitely knows what it takes to be an entrepreneur.
During a speech at TNW 2012 he revealed that 100,000 people sign up to Evernote everyday and the service is rapidly approaching 30m total users.
But while Libin suggested that technology means now is the best time in history to start a business, he listed four popular motivations for becoming an entrepreneur that will guarantee the business fails…
“Becoming an entrepreneur isn’t a good way of making money.
Something like 99% of businesses fail.
If you’re motivated by money and you judge your success purely based on your income, then just get a job.”
“People think that if they start a business then they’re the CEO and they’ll have all these people reporting to them.
When you’re the CEO everyone else is your boss - your customers are your boss, the media is your boss, your employees are your boss.
I’ve never had to account to more people than I do right now.
If you want to be an entrepreneur because it’s a power trip, then you’re better off becoming a politician or joining the army.”
“People often say they want to start a company because they are bored or restless sin their current job.
That poorly formed idea you have is a good germ for starting a company, but it’s not going to be a success.
You’re better off staying at your job and working out exactly what it is you want to do with your life.
4. More flex time
“If you want to start your own company so you can dictate your hours and spend more time with the kids, then that’s stupid.
It doesn’t work like that at all.
If you start your own company you do get flex time - you can work any 20 hours a day you want.”
So why do it?
Libin said there is only one good reason to become an entrepreneur – to change the world.
“The only reason to put yourself through the burdens and stresses of creating a startup is to change the world. You need to have an idea that you think the world needs.”
He said it could be big idea, like space travel, or something small such as a game that will make people happy.
“If you have that concept it is the only legitimate reason for doing it. Because you will work for seven years and make no money, but you will get something from it and learn for the next time.”