Startup is the new normal

Posted on March 12, 2015. Filed under: Uncategorized |

My entire life I have always felt a little bit different…not necessarily an outcast…but certainly not normal. This was an idea that was reinforced by my family, and friends, early professional relationships, etc…words like weird or crazy were commonplace earlier in life, and I embraced them as welcome pieces of my identity…conformity was disgusting…uniqueness was important…and I got pretty good at being a weird or different person in environments made up of “non-weirds.” I remember when I started my first company 7 or 8 years ago…entrepreneurship felt like a path that was for the weird, or non-traditional…here was a vocation that was designed for people like me…where I wouldn’t have to fit into someone else’s culture or norms…where my path was anti-path but there was a word for it called startup, that loosely collected the other people to whom “the normal path” didn’t make sense. Admittedly, there may have been some naivitee in this feeling, but at the time entrepreneurship was place where the different could thrive, and I liked that…

Lately I’ve been noticing that entrepreneurship isn’t so different anymore. What was once the anti-path is now kind of becoming the path…for high potential college grads, people leaving wall st, etc…the types of people who were calling me weird are now regular participants in startupland…these days for every Charles Forman there’s a bain consultant or two and I’m wondering if startupland is going to feel less like home to the next set of not-normals who are looking for where they belong in the professional world. I’m not saying that this is a bad thing, or that the bain consultants don’t belong here…a lot of those folks are crushing it, building successful businesses, etc…I’m just interested in where the “crazies” might go next, if startupland becomes the new normal path.

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5 Responses to “Startup is the new normal”

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Where they’ve always gone: art

yea, i thought about that…but i wonder if there aren’t other points of intersection between art and industry (similar to where tech startups sit), that might look like fertile ground

Feels like regardless of how normal starting up becomes, there will always be a space within it to claim something unique (odd). Opportunities to stand out are endless and nothing close to the uniformity and required conformity of the old normal

i agree that the opportunity to stand out will always exist, it’s less “can i exist here” and more “before i know exactly what this place is, do I feel like it’s home to others like me?”

Lots of weirdos are using the internet as a platform to do things at a much bigger scale. Things like Occupy Wall Street, ImprovEverywhere, or Zoomquilt become so much easier to manager. BBS forums and some services ran on Tor by default attract “weirdos”. Hopefully, as the new generation of weirdos grow up and as tools get better, people will figure out more creative ways to leverage new tech like mobile, VR, robotics, etc.


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    About

    I’m a NYC based investor and entrepreneur. I think there is one metric that can be used to measure the value of a human life and that’s impact. How did you change things? How many people did you touch? How different is the world because you lived in it and how positive was the change that you affected? (p.s. i don’t use spell check…deal with it) You can email me at Jordan.Cooper@gmail.com

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