The Idealist Vs. The Cynic: Startups, Entrepreneurs, and the Average Man

The Idealist: How was Diwali?

The Cynic: Like it always is. Full of smoke, explosions and waste.

I: You really miss out on the fun of life.

C: I had fun once, I hated it.How was yours?

I: Nothing grand. Got together with a group of friends who weren’t going home for Diwali. Burnt some crackers, ate some sweets, took some photos.

C: Hmmm, sounds nice. Thank god you didn’t invite me. Hey tell me did you take a look at this article.

I: No, I didn’t. Why don’t you give me a summary, while I read through it.,

C: Well, there is this guy, who is really into start-ups. He is currently into his 3rd run at it. Somewhere in the middle of thinking where his next grant is going to come, he decided to publish a rant online.

I: Sounds harmless to me. Everybody has got a right to his opinion.

C: Tell me ‘I’, do you believe in start-ups? Will you ever start one?

I: No.

C: What do you plan to do with your life?

I: Not exactly the conversation I want to have with you, but I want to be a teacher.

C: Right. You don’t want to earn a million dollars, you don’t want to grace the cover of GQ magazine. But does all this mean you are not ambitious?

I: Maybe. Maybe not. But this article is not about that. Its about breaking the norm, and the difficulty he has. Just because everyone is doing something, does not necessarily mean its the best thing to do. If everyone is jumping off a cliff, will you do it too?

C: Yes I will.

I: What…why?

C: Because if so many people are doing it. They might be doing it for some reason. There might be something really good beyond that cliff which is making those people jump. Fashion, movies, books, don’t we always follow the ones which are liked by millions.

I: I guess that makes sense.

C: Exactly. My problem is not with this guy. Its with his attitude. He thinks because he is working on some start-ups, makes him a radical. He laments marrying, building a home for himself, and then bringing up kids of his own. Not realizing, that hundreds of thousands of million people do it everyday, all across the world, and they are more or less happier than he is.

I: He is going to be an entrepreneur. He needs the self confidence.

C: Not at the cost of an average man, he doesn’t. I have worked really hard, stayed up nights on end, worked 12 hour shifts, just so I could buy myself an X-B0x, and my mom a Saree. I don’t go to a family meet and tell this entrepreneur, what to do with his life. In fact, whenever I meet him, I commend him for his courage to travel the road less traveled. Then why should I be at the stub of his rant, where he calls my education a farce, and questions my motives.

Entrepreneurs, Startups and the Average Man
Guess who is the idealist and who is the cynic

I: He is just trying to prove a point.

C: And that point is?

I: That its easier to be a household man, than to be an entrepreneur. He is the outlier.

C: And that makes him special? Gives him the right to announce me a duffer for not utilizing my college degree in a risky venture. He mentions how new businessmen, find it difficult to get money for their projects but one can easily find a home loan. Its not because the bank discriminates, its because they invest in things which they are sure about.

I: He just doesn’t want to be coaxed into making a decision by his elders. Because they are still stuck with the same ideas.

C: And he is isn’t. He has got this idea of starting a business by himself into hi head, and he isn’t ready to let go, probably because of his ego. And getting advise from an elder is like listening to a cheat code for a video game from one your friends. They tell you what worked for them, but its up to me to use it or not.

I: the two of you only differ in ideology.

C: And yet you don’t find me lambasting this entrepreneur culture every chance I get. He made a choice, and I respect it. Why can’t he do the same. He has a problem with his uncle and aunties bugging him, so why don’t he tell this to them, instead of finding a lonely corner on the internet. Who is the brave one now? The reason why his family doesn’t give him the respect he deserves and the bank won’t give him a loan are the same.

I: And that is?

C: He doesn’t have anything to show for his achievements. Vision needs to be backed up by numbers, results. Steve Jobs, who is obviously one of the inspirations of almost every entrepreneur, not only had a vision, but he also made a lot of money. Tell me who would you listen to a man who has made himself into something, or a guy who is selling dreams?

I: But his idea maybe real good.

C: Not my problem. I am just saying, that everyday, when I come back from work. I achieve something. If anyone is having a difficult time living with the choices they have made, they have no right to justify it by calling our lives too easy.

I: Granted. Maybe his rant went a little too far. He didn’t know what he wanted to write except for the fact that he would get some spike reaction owing to his challenge of the norm. But what is the point of your rant?

C: Nothing. Rants have no points. They are an outlet of complaints. But if this conversation did have a point, it would be this. Don’t ignore the masses just to look different.

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10 thoughts on “The Idealist Vs. The Cynic: Startups, Entrepreneurs, and the Average Man

  1. Hi Ayush,
    Good to be here again,
    Very interesting initiative and an equally interesting post.
    I am not a cynic but the fact about the Diwali celebration
    at the present situation is so pathetic that the celebrators
    thru their celebration is just polluting the environment literally
    and that is too dangerous and a mere waste of money.
    Why we can’t use that money we are just wasting on crackers
    are used for some other uplifting programs for the poor and the
    downtrodden. We need to think very seriously on such wasting of
    our money and resources.
    Waiting for the next installment in this new line/venture
    Best Regards

    Like

    • The Diwali debate is something, I personally don’t like getting into. But maybe someday, the Idealist and the cynic will.
      Thanks for dropping by, you should try this more often.
      As for the wishes for the new venture, many thanks, hope it makes you keep coming back.

      Like

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