Company Building

How much of industry experience should one get before starting his own company?

Fahad Uddin Computer systems engineer and investor

April 21st, 2017

I tried starting 3 different companies during my university life and fresh out of University I went to be my own boss. The company failed and I learned one needs to have experience and cash to run a company. I want to know are there any good number of years of work experience one should get before starting his own company?


Last updated on April 21st, 2017

A lifetime is the short answer.

I find luck plays a more powerful part than most like to face. In the US the statistic that I find constantly mentioned is: one in ten business attempts succeeds. I do not know how that is measured. Bad odds, but others are worse. A blog post I read recently stated that one in 100 submissions to the "Shark Tank" TV shows gets to appear in front of the panel. One in 300 actually makes it to appear on the broadcasted TV show. Further the article stated that the ones that get that far typically have some form of product that has a record of sales. The participants are trying to get the assistance of one or more of the panel to grow their company. They are not starting from scratch.

Paul Galvin, the founder of Motorola, had three business failures before the success of Motorola. You can read more about it here:

What you arguably have direct control over is the drive to succeed. (However, there are a number of studies that suggest even drive has significant inherited and upbringing components that are not your choice hence back to luck.) The more you know the greater your chance of success. Another core principle is assembling or becoming part of a cohesive team with the needed skills set. That is the apparent altruistic basis of CoFoundersLab. Providing another method for people of this mindset to find each other.

You are never really your own boss. You work for either your customers, your cofounders or your employees. The advantage of starting your own entity is maybe a little more control over your destiny. But that may also be illusionary. There seem to be greater rewards financially and otherwise. However, I have not read anything yet about a successful startup that was easy. They all required a tremendous amount of work beyond a 9 to 5 job and significant heartache and uncertainty. The entertainment business is similar. And bear in mind what Motorola was in its heyday does not exist anymore. Kodak is gone. Sears is almost dead.

Dane Madsen Organizational and Operational Strategy Consultant

Last updated on April 21st, 2017

There are a lot of ways to look at this. Many highly successful firms were started by people in their dorm rooms with no experience (think Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, and Google). There have been incredibly experienced people take large funding and crash the companies (think WebVan and Wanting to be your own boss is always interesting but should not be your first and only measure. You need a team of like minded people who have the skills you do not. A good idea with a great team will be successful more than a Great idea and a mediocre team. Outside investors, all agree: building a big, important, successful business around one person rarely succeeds. The best for you to do is to look at yourself and honestly list what skills you have now and what you do not have. Then find people you really like (start ups are more stressful than marriage so you need to really like each other) that do not duplicate you and fill the spaces you have, and build a team. You can figure out what you all are going to do after that.

Wilfrid Ndoutoume Amvame Founder of mandealR

April 22nd, 2017

Entrepreneurship is about doing a marathon dear friend.

You don't need to master how to sprint to do so.

Get around people who got the same goals.

Eat, Sleep, Walk all about your business as if your life depends on it.

Trust me, you will learn everyday whether you are 1 or 15 years of experience.