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  • Writer's pictureDaniel Kraft

Wasteland of Founder Energy

Entertainment Business Startup Founders


The startup community has become an entertainment business, with founders turning into the product, becoming dopamine junkies in the process. And yes, I know how FOMO makes it hard to say ‘no’ to all the tempting options to shine.


Building a successful business requires immense clarity and rigorous focus. You don't achieve this by exhausting yourself on LinkedIn over the latest AI trends or your "learning" about the newest startup event.


Build, ship, sell, repeat. Everything else is a waste of your time.

Build, ship, sell, repeat. Everything else is a waste of your time. Or worse, it exhausts your mental battery. Here are a few things to consider to improve your ROI on your time and mental energy:


Pitch events without investors. The goal of a pitch is to secure funding for your startup. If no investor is in the room, you waste your time. There is nothing wrong with some public dry runs to keep the jitters at bay. But does that require committing a full day of prep, travel, and lousy finger food?


Accelerators without experienced founders or domain experts. An accelerator is about upgrading your chances through education, practice, and networking. Make sure the people you work with have real-life startup experience as a founder. If not, they're likely reading the same blogs and books you're reading.


Startup Events without real value. The community among founders is of great value. Should you visit the Slush, Bits & Brezel, SXSW, or OMR? If you have set appointments with your target investors or scheduled meetings with fellow founders, go for it. Otherwise, check if the entertainment value justifies the investment and lost productivity.


‘So what’ awards. Being the startup of the year can be a morale booster for you and the team. Yet, dopamine has a nasty tendency not to last very long. And the startup path is paved with dopamine junkies (LINK). What is the goal of the award you're applying to, and which customers or investors care? And no, €500 or €5,000 price money is not worth the effort.


By now, you sense that I am not a big fan of the show business elements in our community. We often debate among the team how much is needed to raise attention to our cause and what is too much. What do you think?


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