Try our new website

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati is the premier legal advisor to technology, life sciences, and other growth enterprises worldwide. We represent companies at every stage of development, from entrepreneurial start-ups to multibillion-dollar global corporations, as well as the venture firms, private equity firms, and investment banks that finance and advise them. The firm's broad range of services and practice areas are focused on addressing the principal challenges faced by the management, boards of directors, shareholders, and in-house counsel of our clients.

.CO is the web address where the world’s innovators, entrepreneurs, businesses and brands come together to build and grow their ideas and organizations online.

CodigoDelSur is a designer and developer of digital products. Having worked with Founder Institute startups in the past, they come as a highly recommended Founder Institute referral. They are composed of highly skilled software, web, and mobile app developers, who are excited to incorporate the latest technologies into the applications they develop.

Xero is everything you need to run your business financials. Work with a beautiful small business accounting software complete with accounting, invoicing, payroll, inventory and more. Xero seamlessly integrates with over 500+ business apps, including CRM, point-of-sale, time tracking, ecommerce, just to name a few. Join the 700,000+ businesses using Xero in more than 180 countries.

Vet-Tech is America's Veteran-led Startup Accelerator headquartered in Silicon Valley. With over 100 military veteran startups in our community, Vet-Tech's top 20 portfolio companies have raised over $10 Million in funding and have been accepted into world class programs like Tech Stars and Founder Institute.

Startup Weekend


Through the Startup Weekend Fellowship, members of the Startup Weekend Community who want to start a technology company can apply to the Silicon Valley Founder Institute chapter for free, and the best overall applicant will be invited to participate in the Founder Institute's step-by-step startup launch program for free as well.

Eligibility: In order to be eligible for the Startup Weekend Fellowship for the upcoming semester, you must complete your application and admissions test by Sunday, December 11th, 2016, using this link.

Grant: The recipient of the Startup Weekend Fellowship will be awarded within 5 days after the deadline.

Click here to apply for the Startup Weekend Fellowship.

Do Entrepreneurs Really Need to Sacrifice Everything? by Mick Liubinskas

Posted by Jonathan Greechan on 2014-03-07

Entrepreneurs are always told that in order to build their dream companies, they must possess a deep passion for their ideas, while simultaneously be willing to sacrifice many things. And though these concepts generally hold true for Mick Liubinskas, he also talks about the possibility of having a more nuanced approach to entrepreneurship.

Mick Liubinskas, also known as Mr Focus to the Australian startup community, is the Co-Founder of Pollenizer, a full service startup investment machine. He is also a mentor for the Sydney Founder Institute, which is currently accepting applications

Below, Mick responds to a few commonly held beliefs about entrepreneurs and the sacrifices they are told to make. The blog post titled "Don't Blame Investors" originally appeared on Mick Liubinskas' blog. It has been republished with permission:  

"Bronwen Clune has written some great blog posts on Pollenizer recently but I really disagreed with one she wrote on The Guardian blaming investors for the lack of diversity in tech startups

A good conversation ensued when Avis Mulhall shared it on Facebook. There are lots of important areas in there, so I thought I’d offer my thoughts.

Here are Bronwen’s points and my thoughts:

Belief one: you can only succeed if you have an all-consuming passion for what you’re doing

It’s not ‘only’ but it is certainly helps, and if you have to choose between someone passionate and someone not, then of course you take passion – and investors hold the money. If you’re not passionate you’re not going to know the space as well and you’re less likely to stick through the hard times.

Belief two: working long hours separates the real entrepreneurs from the hobbyists

Again, it’s not mutually exclusive, you can have ‘four hour work week’ like businesses but any new business, even a cafe or accounting firm takes work to do the job, admin the business and grow the business. If you can do it in less hours, great, more power to you. But most of the time it takes a lot of work for the first few years. Mike Cannon-Brookes made an interesting point at the talk a few weeks ago saying that you can start off running really hard, but eventually you have to turn it into a marathon in order to stay effective over the ten year journey.

This is also the same for a lot of jobs or things people want to do. If you wan to be an elite sports person like a swimmer, then you have to get up early and go swim. It’s not easy and takes commitment. If you want to be a CEO of a big company or politician it takes lots of travel and long hours. If you’re not prepared to work the long hours, do something else.

For me personally, after 8 years of long hours, low salary, lots of travel and high risk trying to build startups I’ve taken a corporate job which is more balanced. I’ve got a young family and I know I can’t put in the time it takes to run a startup or even run my own business. It’s tough but I’m certainly not prepared to sacrifice my relationship with my wife or children for it.

Belief three: a modest salary proves you’re committed

It’s not that it proves you’re committed, it just means you spend less scarce cash on you and more on your growth, etc. Especially if you’re a developer. Companies just can’t afford to pay big salaries until they either generate enough revenue or enough traction to raise money. But if you can convince an investor to put in more money and take more risk to pay you a higher salary, then great, but don’t blame the investor if they don’t.

It’s sort of the same reason why there are less female co-founders. Tech companies need tech people and if the co-founder can code, and work for free or cheap, then you can raise less money and have more of a chance to succeed. My understand of the stats is that considerably less women code, which leads on to less women co-founders. I think this is changing and I really hope it does. I think the world of tech would be considerably more successful if there were more female coders and co-founders. That being said, this just means it’s a bit harder, not impossible. Rebekah Campbell from Posse, Nikki Durkin from 99Dresses, Jodie Fox from Shoes of Prey, Whitney Komor from Best Day, and Melanie Perkins from Canva are some local proof.

Belief four: startups aim to ‘change the world’

Yes, I think they do. Not all of it, but the part they are passionate about. Clones like Rocket don’t but genuine, innovative startups are changing something. It also helps with staying committed to it. If it’s was just for the money you’d go and work for a merchant bank or big corporate.

I also think it’s wrong of Avis to say that building technology companies is not changing the world in as good a way as social enterprises do. There are lots of ways that you can and we need to change the world for the better. Bill Gates didn’t build a social enterprise but he added trillions of dollars of productivity across the globe which had a big positive impact on billions of people. I was in Tanzania working with a micro-financing group helping HIV Aids widows and Excel made a huge difference in running the NGO, knowing what was working, following people up, etc. Yes, there are some people saying they are changing the world but really just want money, but if the passion doesn’t combine with it, then they will typically fail.

Finally, even if these things are true, none of them actually stop you if you really want to. Lots of companies grow without investors, so if you want to build a business that you’re not super passionate about, with a good salary, working reasonable hours and not try to change the world – great, go for it. I’m sure that some of investors fit the bill but I think to blame them a single group as culprits for lack of diversity and label them sinister, anti-family, sexist and racially prejudiced is unfair.

Again, this is an important discussion and I hope my strong response to a strong post sparks some useful debate and perhaps even some useful actions."

Learn more about Mick Liubinsaks on his blog or follow him on Twitter @liubinskas.

Like this article?

Do Entrepreneurs Really Need to Sacrifice Everything? by Mick Liubinskas

* indicates required

Feedback Form

We welcome your feedback to improve the Institute. Please contact us using the form below, and we will get back to you promptly.
Your Email Address:
Message to the Institute:
What is ? (enter the answer below):
Close Window