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I talk to people all the time about starting businesses. Sometimes these people are already running a fast growth tech startup that has already raised millions. Other times, these people just have an idea and are exploring how they’re going to start this business. 

I believe it’s Richard Feynman that once said “What I cannot create, I do not understand”. He is right in a sense, but all quotes are prisoners of their own generalisation. Taking this quote to heart helps me to come to this realisation – Not everyone has to create, and not everyone has to understand.

Tech has come a long way, especially in the past few decades. More and more companies are forming with increasingly innovative products, and grasping for their share of the market. After relentless nights, some of these companies succeed, and become mainstream products for the masses to use. Others fold and collapse into a graveyard of intellectual property, and non-scalable businesses. 

I have an admiration for people, especially startup founders, who are able to think for themselves, and come to their own conclusions. I like to think of myself as someone capable of doing things differently. There are many superlatives I describe myself by also, but I will save that for another time. For now, I just want to briefly explore the essence of what thinking differently actually means.

In the past few years, and especially since the fiasco with Trump, Facebook, and Cambridge Analytica, tech has been getting bad rep. It’s now popular opinion to say “tech is bad for us”, or “tech does way more good than bad”. There is a clear resentment towards tech, tech- hubs such as silicon valley, and the founders/software engineers who are creating these new technologies, every day. I understand. I don’t agree.

The short answer: absolutely. When starting a startup, often founders are scared that their idea will be stolen, or disheartened when they do research, and find out there is another startup already doing the same thing. In most cases, this is the wrong way to think about things. Here’s a few reasons why it’s actually a positive that other companies are doing the same thing.

In the last few years, the number of people trying to start a tech startup has increased dramatically. I am one of those people. However, the issue is the percentage of these people who feel the only way they can succeed is by raising money from investors, selling part (or a lot) of their company so they can use the money to grow fast and become a massive global company. The question is… Why?