NC State University

I’m nuts for startups

Jeff Huber, Class of 2011

I must be crazy. This summer I decided to buck the more traditional molds of summers full of gallivanting, researching or interning and try something that was in many ways none of those and in others all of them. I decided to start a company.


The top 5 facts:

1. I don’t get paid – in fact I’m in the red. And I work 80+ hours per week.

2. Most put chances of success at 10%. And seemingly much of it is left up to chance.

3. Competition is ruthless. Nearly every company on the web is a player.

4. The problems are not just hard, they’re are hugely difficult technical challenges.

5. And huge challenges involved with starting / redefining an entire market.


My top 5 reasons:

1. I’d rather be doing something I love, working my butt off, for a cause I believe in, with the potential to change the world making a pinnate of pennies any day, any week, any month of my life. The world lends huge dividends, economic and otherwise, to those who accept calculated risk and embrace it.

2. Anything significant has a small degree of probability of succeeding any single time. Important solutions are almost inherently big problems with lots of variables. They either haven’t been tried or more likely many have failed before. Curing cancer, creating the lightbulb, you name it – innovation is hard. As it often is – the hardest thing is the most important.

3. Competition? Thank goodness! The fact that they exist means that I’m not completely off-base. I am thankful for validation of my idea and a little healthy competition to burn the midnight oil. Because – they’re doing it wrong obviously. Failure teaches me more than success. Fail forward faster.

4. Genius is overrated. Showing up is underrated. The harder the problems, the greater the reward. The harder the problems, the harder it will be for others to copy you. Every obstacle overcome is one step closer to your goal – and one more barrier to entry. Showing up is the hardest step.

5. This is the big momma. The fact that – if one million variables (and stars) align, if the timing is right, and the team is ready, if the idea matches what the world is demanding then the world embraces it. And it changes the world. I’m not sure I could work on and for anything less.


So please call me crazy – I think it’s rather becoming. It looks good on you too.

A lot of people say starting a company is like jumping out of a plane, and trying to build your parachute on the way down. Sounds like fun, right?

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