Scipreneurs/7-day-intro/1 - know yourself

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It is fantastic that you are considering joining the process of starting a company.

The first step in the process is to understand who you are, and what your motivations are.

In my case, becoming an entrepreneur was not a dream since I was a young boy. It was a path that slowly opened before me and I followed it without really stopping to thinking about why I was doing things at every step.

That was a problem later on, because when I stopped to think what were my intrinsic motivations, it was too late. My ambitions and aspirations were different from the objectives of the company that was being built around me.

So, now it is time to ask you, why do you want to become an entrepreneur?


I strongly suggest you to start documenting your journey. Either on a paper notebook, digitally, by replying to these e-mails. Going back to your original thoughts and feelings is one of the most valuable things you'll ever be able to do.

There are many reasons to start your own company, some may resonate more than other with your personality. What is important to understand, is that there are no wrong answers. We all have different ambitions and expectations.

Some examples:

  1. Creating impact: this is a reason I've heard in almost every interaction with a sci-founder: Academic science lacks translation of useful results into society.
  2. Making money: although I haven't found a single founder publicly saying they wanted to make money, it is un-avoidable to think we can become rich.
  3. Having fun: If there is a good reason to do anything in life, this may be it. Starting a company can be extremely fun, especially if you are surrounded by a fun team.
  4. Loving technology: I know how it feels working months on end trying to increase the performance of your system. You love it, and you want others to love it as well.
  5. Career advancement: Starting a company may be a way of speeding up your career, especially if you are an academic who wants to stay in academia.
  6. Working in a team: Many PhDs and Postdocs suffer from a great degree of isolation in their projects. Startups offer a quick way out, having a tight-nit group of people working on the same problem.
  7. What is your reason? I am very curious to know what is your reason to consider starting a company.

This is a laudable reason to start a company, but I always ask: that does not mean you have to take care of creating impact. You could have just enabled others to transform your research into a product.

There are examples of sci-based companies that made their founders rich. They are, however, a clear example of survivorship bias. Most founders, in their first startup, will at most compensate the income lost by not joining a larger company.


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Aquiles Carattino
Aquiles Carattino
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