What’s up with “startups?”

“Startups” – Why all the hype?

The buzzword in the business world these days surely seems to be “Startups.”

So much attention is paid to these startup-companies (as well as Venture Capital – to the tune of close to $50 billion dollars in 2014).

Heck, we just landed the biggest “startup” Hoboken has ever seen – JET.

And most of these new companies are TECH Startups. With big national or global “potential” or promise. Not some mom and pop small business. But don’t you smell something wrong with this massive flurry of companies – that come as fast as they go – and don’t leave much behind in terms of tangible long-term value to the world? Isn’t there something missing from this “hollow” industry?

Do tech startups offer anything beyond hype and marketing and investment - What's up with "startups?"

Any substance beyond making a (very) few people “uber” rich?

Looking from afar, you begin to notice some trends. I’ve read quite a few books and “followed” a few “serial entrepreneurs” around over the past few years.

They’ll tout their “success,” but what they seem to do is bounce from one “startup” to the next. In some cases, ALL their previous “successful” ventures – are no longer in existence!

And the odd thing is – that even though those businesses ended up failing in the end, the founders, early round investors all made a killing (financially).

Multiple millions of dollars in their pockets. And they “tout” their track record. Really?

Sure, in some cases – the founders really did create a product in which they were “passionate” about – but I think that passion eventually wears off as their vision gets clouded with reality. The fact that they really don’t have to “risk it all” in order to make a very large return on investment in a short amount of time.

Do startups really care about the big picture or long term?

It’s my guess that most tech startup companies have that “trump card” in the back of their mind.

“I’ll put mediocre effort in – and if it doesn’t take off – at least I have my silver parachute payday! I’ll just start another one after this one goes down!”

I’d love to see a really good tech startup (with a major “game changing” product) refuse all venture capital unless they had very stringent “cash out” policies. Like a five or 10 year time line to make a profit.

startup garbage - What's up with "startups?"

Do these tech startups actually make or produce anything?

Another thing that is disturbing is that most tech startups don’t create anything of physical value (some exceptions – like 3D printing technology). What does SnapChat or airbnb do other that collaborate or combine information? Or Delivery.com?

Sure, maybe Uber might be slightly different – but they’re just skimming off the top of an existing market – not adding any true wealth to the economy. Just re-directing it.

And any new physical product that does come out (like most technology, cameras, “wearables” and what have you) are made in China because we have no manufacturing left in the good ‘ole USA!

Again, it’s just another form of speculation. A stock market. Gambling. With a whole lot of hype and A.D.H.D. customers who will jump head first into the “next big thing” before they’re pulled in another direction and next big startup.

Maybe this is all we have now?

Let me try to be fair here. Perhaps this is the “new” way to make a living. It certainly isn’t Bill Gates or Steve Jobs MEGA-WEALTH, but maybe this is 2nd best? Sort of like the “middle class” of rich?

Nothing or no one that is iconic or memorable over time. Just moderate short-term success?

Is it possible that the current market conditions make these semi-successes the best one can strive for? Or is it the super-fast pace in which technology is changing everything in this world? Not just “tech” startups?

Who knows, but maybe if the majority of “paying customers” just ignored the startups and waited until something of long-term sustainability comes their way – the madness will stop (or quiet down significantly).

Until then, enjoy your “here today, gone tomorrow” flash in the pans.

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