Justin Vincent proposes that most of the articles that extoll the virtues of fast-growing, VC-funded startups are cheating us, by swapping the very solid and reliable possibility of running a microbusiness to sustain whatever lifestyle you want, and replacing it with a startup lottery, more difficult, and less likely to succeed.
This is a good point, and from a personal point of view, it makes sense to learn to run a smaller business before jumping into a larger one, though Justin goes a little too far by suggesting that:
If every developer was to focus on the very achievable goal of building a lifestyle/micro business – the entire house of cards would crumble.
That's both true and false (the most dangerous kind of statement). If developers were to give up on larger ventures, the "house" would indeed crumble, because, as Paul Graham puts it in the Hacker News discussion:
If that happened, the whole world would crumble, because we wouldn't have any technology bigger than could be built by lifestyle businesses. Anyone who wanted to build a lifestyle business on the Internet, for example, would find that there was no Internet. You wouldn't have servers or routers or clients or backbones or local cable.
The useful truth, as always, lies somewhere in the middle. Many people can and should start lifestyle businesses - and some others can and should start funded startups - and others yet can and should work for large corporations. Seeing your own way as the only valid choice is, well, a limited point of view which smells a little bit of self-delusion...
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