Johnson Cook

Atlanta tech investor. Entrepreneur.

Johnson Cook - Atlanta tech investor. Entrepreneur.

Why I Love Startups


butterflyIt’s no secret that I’m addicted to meeting with and being around entrepreneurs in the startup phase of their business. I love hearing about new ideas, both good and bad. I love evaluating the idea and finding some way that even the most goofy idea can be turned into a better idea to actually generate wealth. I just love it!  I actually have a written goal each week that I will meet with 3 entrepreneurs that have something in the startup phase. (This, admittedly, has been tough some weeks!)

So in my nature of geeky overanalysis, I recently started wondering why do I like startups so much? Aren’t massive corporations like Home Depot, Coke, UPS, Apple, PGi, Microsoft, just as interesting? Aren’t there plenty of cool ideas happening within and around these companies?  They certainly have figured out the sustainable wealth building part of corporate growth, so why am I not attracted to them?

I think it comes down to this: change.

What I’m really addicted to is change. I can’t stand routine that lasts longer than a few weeks. I regularly change around my morning schedule just because it’s new and different.  I love to rearrange the furniture in our house more often than any person should.  I love to mow my lawn because I love that one minute it’s tall, and 20 minutes later, it’s short. Visible change is even better! (Maybe I’m disclosing a little too much here… starting to sound a little OCD to myself…) But I digress…

The point is that startups exist to make change. They change routines, ideas, systems, established products and processes… startups = change!  Not only that, but, just like mowing the lawn, their progress and the contrast between “was” and “is” can be seen without difficulty.

Startups are also a good place for team members who like change. In my companies, those folks who were around the longest usually ended up wearing many hats, sometimes simultaneously, sometimes switching rolls monthly. Never a dull moment when you are learning and growing a scrappy company. I’m sure my HR friends have some neat tricks for interview questions and methods to determine a candidates tolerance for constant change.

So if you’re considering being involved in a startup, my advice (even though you didn’t ask for it) is to question your tolerance for change. It’s not for everybody.




Category: General
  • TREEtopper says:

    funny you use the ‘lawn’ analogy to entrepreneurship… i’m with you.  as a kid, i did the same thing, ‘the lawn rangers’ actually.  it’s amazing how you can shape something from a mess into a masterpiece, and then only for it to change again a few days later.  our businesses are no different.  always evolving and growing.  i wish it was as easy as putting a snapper 32 inch cut on it.

    May 15, 2012 at 12:22 am

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