Day 3 of 45: Should I sell out?

8.08pm Sunday. I’m always working at this time. Usually till about 1am. But right now the back end of my site isn’t working, so no better time to write.

I’m hoping the problem will miraculously sort itself out, as our programmer is on the other side of the world and hard to get to do anything without financial incentive.

Was in the gym again today. Haven’t gone since Wednesday. I want to make it clear that I am not one of these people who likes showing off about their fitness exploits. I usually don’t have any exploits to show off about. I don’t run marathons. I like to drink. I smoke a bit. I eat dodgy food from time to time. I like coffee. I don’t practice yoga. I don’t like rock climbing. You get the picture.

But as I said in a previous post, I have taken to going to the gym over the last week and a half in a bid to have a clear head through this ordeal. (It seems to work btw)

While in the gym I was watching CNN on the screen above. I was upset to see Lou Reeds death got less coverage than Chris Browns latest arrest. (If you don’t know who Lou Reed is, and do know who Chris Brown is… forgive me for being condescending… but shame on you!)

Anyway, it got me thinking how mainstream media is responsible for dumbing down the masses to such an extent. And that in turn got me thinking philosophically about the ‘startup scene’… and questioning how much of it is actually worth anything to man kind at large.

I’m thinking out loud here and trying to get all deep and meaningful. Bare with me…

I like to think of myself as an artist in many ways. Or at least I like to think that I have an artistic spirit. When I was young I had artistic goals. I went to art school. I had some good achievements. And my startup came about accidentally with some pretty uthopian ambitions in place. My startup doesn’t cure cancer or solve third world hunger… but I do feel it has cultural merit, and generally rewards the people who work on it with something more than perhaps money can give.

So I thought today about the amount of times in the last year I’ve been asked to dumb down what we do in order to try appeal to the masses and hook in users.

To avoid arguments I’ve had to bite my bottom lip, nod and say… ‘I’ll consider that’… or… ‘We’ve thought about that…’ … or ‘eh…I guess we COULD do that.’

It can be a depressing business. Just recently I was told by one of our investors to ‘take off my artistic cap and put on my CEO cap.’ I told him to fuck off.

It’s just the greed of capitalism taking foot. I come back to the point. Why is being big not enough? These days you need to be the biggest.

This type of thinking has killed the soul of some great companies. MTV? The Huffington Post? MySpace? These were all great ideas, that were executed well (to a point)… but in a bid to become the biggest and get the loot… sold out…

I don’t know what sense I’m making.

The question is, is the startup up world a world one wants to exist in? There’s a lot of hype… but how much soul is there? This could be my chance to jump ship… and become a teacher, or a writer. Hmmmm…

Or we could sell out. Plaster boobs all over what we do. And make millions.

Boobs… millions… not a bad combo actually.

John Startup

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