I caught up this week with a friend of mine. He’s a serial entrepreneur and has been hanging out at MassChallenge. During our discussion, we talked about when it’s right to start a company? Should you start one right after college?
He’s of the opinion that you should not do so right after school. He thinks instead that you should instead join a start-up and learn “on someone else’s nickel.”
All things being equal, I’d agree with that. I think very few people can have the rock star idea straight out of school and form it into a real company with legs.
I think the most important asset you can develop coming out of college is a great network. And, if you can join a company that is already filled with great founders who are able to attract great people, you’ve now built a network for life.
People from those start-ups will eventually start their own companies. If you do a good job, they will then pull you to their start-ups. And, so on, and so on. This is great advice that the first Amazon CFO gave to me when I was much younger, and I still think it holds true for most people.
Of course, if you have a great idea out of college and feel compelled to give it a go, you should try. Just have a Plan B ready.