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Is Launching a Start Up Worth it?

Sleeping under your desk, eating food in bar form, dreading once-pleasant social diversions. If this is what it takes to start a new company, is it worth it? Are you being made a slave?

What’s the Latest Development?

Is launching a start up worth it if it means giving up your youth, grafting your smartphone to you body and working to make some venture capitalist a fat cat? Michael Arrington, formerly of TechCrunch, says it is. He advises dreamers to “Work hard. Cry less. And realize you’re part of history.” Jamie Zawinski, an engineer at Netscape in 1994, takes a different view: “What is true is that for a VC’s business model to work, it’s necessary for you to give up your life in order for him to become richer.”

What’s the Big Idea?

Even during recessions, American companies used to hold on to their employees, putting them to work painting the factory. Not any more. While unemployment has risen, workers have become more productive for fear of losing their job. “US productivity increased twice as fast in 2009 as it had in 2008, and twice as fast again in 2010: workforce down, output up, and voilá!” What part of history does launching a start up make you part of? The newest iteration of America’s entrepreneurial spirit or America’s new struggling economy?

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