I spent the day at the Launch 2013 Conference where the talk is all about pain points, financial bootstrapping, equity offerings, seed capital, and a good exit. We saw start-up founders pitch their nascent products to a panel of five experienced venture capitalists, get feedback, yays or nays, and maybe even some actual funding on the spot. It’s the wild west–and about as exciting. And dangerous.
Dangerous because you get caught up in it all. Numbers so large thrown around it must be monopoly money. But it’s possible. Like the wild west, there is money to be had–lots of it. Money is walking by holding a paper cup of coffee, you might not notice. Others are walking by, holding the same cups, like hyenas on the prowl. How many are really going to make it huge? A few of them. How many are going to give a shot? Most of them. Is it the nature of the chase, the chance of a huge payout, in the blood, the thrill of the game? Yes. Dangerous? Only if you’re all in.
The superstar entrepreneur I was with was in his element, it was his world, his domain, his home turf. We talked with investors and new product fanatics, heard pitches about products that I couldn’t wait to see, others everyone can wait to see. It’s a bit of a fashion show, mix of American Idol, and a gameshow. Someone is going to make it big and that day is going to start today. Guaranteed.
We talked briefly about my day job and he summed it up when he felt bad for me that I was wasting my talents on single clients, just one at a time. It wasn’t easily scalable and the upside is … more clients. Sigh. He nailed the coffin shut when he, especially in light of all of the huge possibilities around us, called me what would probably get picked up by any hidden microphones nearby as profanity although he didn’t mean it in a mean spirited way–and I didn’t take it that way–but it was about as low as I could be brought down in such an atmosphere, but he called me what I’m doing if I’m working an hour and getting paid an hour, for single clients, one at a time: a wage slave.