Amin Shah Gilani bio photo

Amin Shah Gilani

Yet another humanoid.

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I’m serious, I’ve gone through Plan9’s incubation cycle. I’m currently in Boost VC’s acceleration cycle. I’ve burned through money, friends, and time. My family and friends have (as supportive as they have been) given up on understanding what I am trying to accomplish. And my business partner hates me on the bad days, and is mildly happy on good days. Don’t plan on being an entrepreneur unless you’re stupid, and stubborn: which is exactly what I am.

Before I learnt what entrepreneurship was, I thought it’d be sexy: running my own business, being the next Mark Zuckerberg, all the media coverage. What I wasn’t prepared for was the stress, and the unhappiness, the people management, and the constant knowledge that outside of my company and my mind, there is no value for what I do, or what I’m trying to accomplish.

I’ve seen my classmates settle on amazing job opportunities. I can’t say I haven’t seen more money than most of them, but I’ve also seen that most entrepreneurs make less money than I have in my life. And to be honest, I’ve been lucky. That’s all it is. Luck. And perseverance, yes, but also lots of luck.

I have one message for optimistic new entrepreneurs: you’re going to fail,

It won’t be a spectacular failure where everyone pats you on the back and tells you that “atleast you tried!” It’ll be a quiet death, where all you’ve worked on for months (or years) will just fizzle out and not matter anymore.

This is the way the world ends Not with a bang but a whimper –Mistah Kurtz

I gave a talk at Punjab University a few months ago when I explained when you shouldn’t try entrepreneurship. If you weren’t there, don’t be an entrepreneur:

  • If you’re smart
  • If you have a caring family
  • If you have a boy/girlfriend (it’s time to break up)
  • If you still have to complete your education
  • If you need the support of other people
  • If people depend on you.
  • If you’re a student
  • If you expect to be rich in a year

If you still want to be an entrepreneur, tweet to me (entrepreneurs need twitter). If enough people tweet, I’ll write a blog post that is actually helpful to entrepreneurs.