Ep. #798 - Why We Keep Starting Startups
In this episode of Startup Hustle, join Matt and Matt for this final episode in our “How to Start a Tech Company” series to hear exactly why this Matt duo keeps starting startups.
Covered In This Episode
After finding success or having a large exit, most entrepreneurs and founders tend to start another startup again. But why do they want to start all over again? Why would they want to experience the hard and long journey toward another path to revenue?
Matt and Matt explain why entrepreneurs and founders keep starting startups. They share their insights about how entrepreneurs think and feel. The Matts also describe how being a founder is like being a rockstar. Finally, they also share cautions and reminders for entrepreneurs about the danger of feeling invincible after a successful exit.
Join Matt and Matt to understand why founders keep starting new businesses after success in this Startup Hustle episode.
Don’t miss any of the episodes. Click here to listen to the entire series.
- Introduction to the last part of the series (0:30)
- Why do we keep starting a startup? (1:19)
- Entrepreneurs and rockstars (5:23)
- Dangers after having success (12:26)
- Bootstrapping (18:13)
- It’s not all about money (22:58)
- Metaverse (25:16)
- Entrepreneurship is a way of life (29:23)
- Founder’s freestyle (36:23)
- Wrapping up the series (39:56)
As an entrepreneur, a startup founder, and really, for anybody, their career and what they do reflects a lot about themselves. If you’re a fireman, you’re a fireman. You’re not just anybody. You’re a fireman. That’ defines you, and a lot of people, maybe to a fault, get too wrapped up in that. It is the same with entrepreneurs and founders. It’s part of who we are, our persona, and what we do. To then all of a sudden be like, I don’t do anything. It is hard.Matt Watson
One piece of advice that I’ve always given anyone who wants to start a business is that you need to know that once you got to start it, you got to keep it going. You got to keep it alive. You don’t do it impulsively. That’s the point. And so, like making sure it’s something that you’re passionate about, or that you want to do, or whatever, is key.Matt DeCoursey
The biggest problem we have, especially as entrepreneurs that have been successful and had an exit, is the amount of risk that we take a lot of on. A lot of people take a lot of risks. They invest in a lot of things. And honestly, that is probably one of the biggest mistakes we make. We think that, to some degree, we may be a little invincible, or I’ve done this before, I can do it again, and you pour a lot of money into things, you start investing money in a lot of other startups. And it’s really easy for a lot of that stuff to go sideways and fail.Matt Watson
Why do we start startups or keep doing much of this stuff? I mean, it is a way of life. It is a real thing. It’s when you like what you do and are passionate about it. It’s not work. I have told people for the longest time that my hobby is making money, and I haven’t worked a day since I made that decision.Matt DeCoursey
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Following is an auto-generated text transcript of this episode. Apologies for any errors!
Matt DeCoursey 0:01
And we’re back. Back for another episode of Startup Hustle, Matt DeCoursey, here, with Matt Watson. Hi, Matt.
Matt Watson 0:07
Dude, why do we keep doing this shit?
Matt DeCoursey 0:11
Because we’re crazy, stupid, and unemployable.
Matt Watson 0:15
Definitely unemployable. That’s for damn sure.
Matt DeCoursey 0:19
We’ll explain that soon. But Matt, let’s come on chins and heads up. Chins up.
Matt Watson 0:26
We did it. We’re here.
Matt DeCoursey 0:27
We have a can do, we have a can do attitude.
Matt Watson 0:30
We can do that machine.
Matt DeCoursey 0:30
This is 52 parts later. You know what? Do all right.
Matt Watson 0:41
52-part. It’s crazy.
Matt DeCoursey 0:42
Really the only way now? Yeah, you know, we’re gonna, I’m excited for that. Now, do I need to let you know before we do any more Ric Flair yelling that today’s episode is Startup Hustle is supported by Compiler. And that’s an original podcast from Red Hat that discusses tech topics big and small and strange. Compiler unravels industry topics, trends, and the things you’ve always wanted to know about tech, to do it through interviews with the people that know best. And you’ll learn more about compiler at Red Hat, RedHat.com. And there’s a link in the show notes for that.
Matt Watson 1:17
Sounds like something I should listen to.
Matt DeCoursey 1:19
Yeah, maybe, maybe. And it’s, you know, there’s a reason that they’re advertising and supporting Startup Hustle, because the time we talked about that kind of stuff. So check them out, see what they have to say. I’m out, here we are at the end of 52 parts. We’ve gotten through this acquisition, we talked about what happens after an acquisition, and then the real, you know, and we were talking in the last episode a little bit about, you know, this is more, this is a little more about the founder afterward. And you know, why? Why do we keep starting startups? Does? Is this a different answer? Depending on it? It’s a different answer, depending on what time of day you asked me what day you asked me. And then when you asked me in the timeline of, of me?
Matt Watson 2:04
Well, so I’ve started two companies, you know, and sold two companies plus, plus, we have Full Scale, but the, you know, I sold Stackify last April. So it’s been like, what, nine months, or whatever, that’s the longest time in my life. I’ve been between like selling a company and starting with last time, last time around, it was like zero month between the two. So yeah, so, you know, I asked myself every day, it’s a What am I? What am I gonna do next? What’s next? And I get, I get different ideas about different things. And at the same time, I’m like, Oh, my God, I have to like start a company and hire people.
Matt DeCoursey 2:41
And it’s a lot of work. A lot of work. I think that when you talk about why we keep starting startups, I think that entrepreneurs are just wired that way, you know, like, I mean, as it was all the way back to Laravel halts in like Episode 10, or 11, or whatever it was, and, you know, Hey, am I looking for something to do? And I think that that has a lot to do with it. I mean, I’ve talked to you about, you know, after then, and you know, you I remember you telling me, You’re like I was 29 just turning 30. And like, I mean, I’m not, what am I gonna do retire? Like, I think people are better when they’re engaged, and you feel like you have a purpose for an entrepreneur or purposes, business and
Matt Watson 3:28
stuff like, well, that’s the struggle. That’s the struggle I have now. Right. So now I’m 40. And it’s kind of an I don’t work right now. So it’s like, what is my purpose? Like, what do I do, right? And as an entrepreneur, as a startup founder, and really, for anybody, a lot of people, they really, you know, their career and what they do really reflects a lot about themselves and personality, right? If you’re like, Oh, I’m a fireman, or whatever, like, you’re a fireman, you’re not a human, you’re a fireman. Like that’s, that defines view and a lot of people maybe to their own fault, get get too wrapped up in that, but as entrepreneurs and founders, right, it’s like, part of who we are, and our persona and what we do and all of that, to then all of a sudden be like, I don’t do anything. It is hard. It’s it’s, it’s a different thing. It’s hard.
Matt DeCoursey 4:14
Well, I think I think for some entrepreneurs, you know, people are driven and motivated by different things. And and some worlds, you know, like you look at, so you have something really big, right? So you got like a unicorn company and you’re rubbing elbows with all these people and you feel really relevant in the scene and suddenly sell the company. You’re not a part of it. I mean, I think some people keep starting startups and doing things be literally to maintain relevance, like, now some of that is back to the like, need to do stuff, but I’ve seen some people get into stuff and do things when they probably shouldn’t, you know, just like, I don’t know, either. You’ve also told me along the way, you’re like, Man, I should have just done nothing. Yeah, it’s gone both ways. You know, and I think that, you know, it’s funny because my wife doesn’t think that I would ever retire. And I’m like, try me. Right? Well, you can get good at a lot of stuff. But the thing is, is I think entrepreneurs are passionate about business. Now, if I was passionate about golf, I might be like, Yeah, I just play golf every day, but I’m not passionate about golf.
Matt Watson 5:23
Now think let’s relate this to the music industry from it, because I know how much you love the music industry, it’s one thing to be in a rock band and be on tour all the time, right. And maybe you can make, you know, some good money doing it if you’re a big band and everything. But once you get off tour, you could still write songs, you could still be a producer, you, you could still do other things, you could start a music label, you could do other things, right? Like, there are other things you can still do without being the guy who’s on the road, playing the drums for three hours a night or whatever, right? So it’s the same thing with being a startup founder, it’s like, you know, we can be investors, we can be mentors, we can be on boards, there’s, there’s other things we can do, we don’t have to be the person that’s in the daily grind. But for a lot of us, there’s something about the daily grind that I think we get sucked into.
Matt DeCoursey 6:09
So to to, I’ve had that conversation with music industry, people, like legit rock stars, and so there is no feeling that can replace doing that, and the amount of 15,000 people and that’s and honestly, so for musicians, that that’s difficult. So like at a startup founder and having a company, you’ve got something that’s going on every day, the reason that musicians actually struggle personally a lot is they go from those highs to suddenly it’s like, okay, what do I do with myself for three, three months, or something until they’re back out on the road, and, you know, they don’t have the structure, they don’t have the consistency and then, you know, but But once again, it’s like, that’s back to the relevance thing, like, Hey, this is what I do. So I want to do it. And I think that that’s a main thing for, for entrepreneurs. Now, you know, it’s uh, you know, I’m not a real big fan of this term. But a serial entrepreneur is someone who starts and leads one business after another or multiple businesses at the same time. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve, I’ve I’ve gained, I’ve continued to gain an appreciation for kind of doing fewer things and doing them better. When I actually was advising someone giving someone some advice. The other day, I was helping someone prepare a one pager for funding. And it said, I’m a serial entrepreneur, I was like, take that off. Now. I don’t want to invest in the serial entrepreneur, I want to invest in the laser focused guy that wants to take this thing big. I don’t want to feel like you’re doing 12 other things. But I think that we are wired to do that. I think for me, personally, if I saw a big exit, I would definitely be an investor and a lot of stuff I like I would like I would like the involvement on that level, the idea of starting something, again, from day one, right now. I mean, honestly, it doesn’t feel very appealing to me at all. Especially knowing like, how much of my soul I sold to get to, you know, just under 250 People at Full Scale, you know, like, just meaning like, you’d look at like, we’re in the fun part now. Yeah, absolutely. The part up to that, like, I mean, I feel like it’s a glutton for punishment. Now, you know, that said, you know, I think that, you know, I think that, you know, there’s I don’t know, I mean, it really just depends, like, the but you are a glutton for it. I mean, I’d almost rather be more interested in maybe joining something that was already moving as an investor and then a principle. But yeah, by the way, the thing, the things that suck the most when you start something new, it’s so they saw that one off crap, you know, like, it’s just just, I don’t know that. I mean, for me, that doesn’t sound really appealing at all. So you’d you’d find more interest in joining something already in motion?
Matt Watson 9:03
Yeah. So I think, for me, I’d be more interested in working as a executive at a just a high growth company that in early stage, right, like they’ve already gotten off the ground, they see the whole world in front of them, they just need people to come help get up there. Right. Like, that’s way easier than to be the person who’s trying to get the wheel in motion. Like, once that wheel is in motion, it’s easier to come in. But, you know, I think as entrepreneurs, we’re all just wired to kind of be problem solvers. Right? And looking for opportunities. And you know, now I I’ve been doing a lot of that I’ve been thinking about doing a lot of things in the crypto space and the web three space, which is all the rage now is web three, which is blockchain related stuff and trying to figure out like, is this you know, is there something I can do here? What do I want to do here? And it’s been kind of fun. I’ve been playing around with some ideas and but yeah, it’s just a it’s just a daunting task, starting a new business and even in the crypto space, it’s like, okay, well Whatever the legal ramifications of the type these types of businesses like that’s a whole nother unknown and set of problems.
Matt DeCoursey 10:07
I know one thing, if I did something, well, first off, I’d need to do something that I wouldn’t be interested in doing something that didn’t have big possibilities. So you talked about, like, the music industry thing, and like, there’s nothing that replaces being on stage in front of an arena full of people? Well, I mean, I don’t think I’d be interested in anything that was like, like, a solopreneur kind of thing. You know, like, I don’t think that would really entertain me, I think that one of the things is, for entrepreneurs, you’re always okay, I can, I can do it bigger, I can do more I can, you know, like, and I’ve even had conversations recently about that. And some of us in the Full Scale suite with us at the Elton John show. And this is a very high caliber old, older gentleman that had done a lot of successful stuff. And he’s like, literally, like, you know, tinkering with, you know, doing some different stuff. He’s like that I’ve never built a company and taken it public. And I could kind of tell I was like, it was like an itch that hadn’t been scratched. Yeah. On a ridiculously successful lifetime resume. So I think some of its like, you know, like, I see, I’ve seen people kind of come in and out of it. I know, you have to, like, you know, that you do something. And I think it’s probably a good idea to take some space. And, you know, one thing one advice that I’ve always given anyone that wants to start a business, I’m like, Yeah, you need to know that once you got to start it, you got to keep it going. You got to keep it alive. Like, yep, you don’t just get like so? Well, you don’t do it impulsively. That’s the point. And so like making sure it’s something that you’re passionate about, or that you want to do, or whatever, is key. Because, you know, like, if you get bored with it, I had a lot of people reach out to me over the pandemic, and they had an idea. And I was like, So is this something that you’re just trying to do to fill the space until your normal life comes back? And they’re like, Well, maybe. And I said, Okay, well, are you going to feel as passionate about it, if life went back to normal tomorrow? Because if you’re not passionate about this new business started, you’re going to hate it, you’re not going to want to work out, it’s going to be boring, and it’s probably gonna fail if those are the things that occur.
Matt Watson 12:13
Yeah, absolutely. So starting, starting a business is hard, man. And you know why we do it? I don’t even know. But it’s just,
Matt DeCoursey 12:24
maybe that’s the better answer,
Matt Watson 12:26
it’s an itch that just has to be scratched at some point. So, you know, I’m trying to go through that phase now of just trying to sit back and, you know, have some fun, try and relax and not jump right into it. But the biggest problem we have, especially as entrepreneurs that have been successful and had an exit, and stuff, too, is the amount of risk that we take a lot of on, you know, a lot of people take a lot of risks, they invest in a lot of things, they start other things. And honestly, that that is probably one of the biggest mistakes that we make, is we think that to some degree, we may be a little invincible, or I’ve done this before I can do it again, and you pour a lot of money into things, you start investing money in a lot of other startups. And it’s really easy for a lot of that stuff to go sideways and fail. And it happens a lot.
Matt DeCoursey 13:21
Yeah, and, you know, I was another comment, I think if I, you know, I’d want to do something that had had a really high ceiling, but I would want to do more I would want I would go out and find other people’s money. Yeah, to kind of avoid like what you were saying? Well, dude, that’s that’s the thing that’s been, you know, like, you know, and you mentioned, you had exits, while I owned a highly lucrative business, I had a couple of them. And then you know, and then, you know, when we started Full Scale, which went really well, and we had a pandemic, and it just really kind of lengthened the stress and slowed down things. But, you know, I look back at like, over the last few years, I was joking earlier, I said, I felt like I sold part of my soul. But like, you know, the thing is, is like, that’s agonizing, you know, for founders, and if you’re a founder, you’re listening, and you know it, and you because you’ve done it, I’m the first person that will say it, when I’m talking to another founder, I’m like, Hey, I know what it’s like to wake up in the middle of the night and wonder if you’re going broke if you made really bad decisions, or if you’ve just are finally officially crazy. You know, and and that’s the thing is that that takes a toll on other parts of your life on your body, all of it, and you know that but I also think that that’s what you’re cashing in when you have sold it, or you built something that’s just pumping out. It’s a cash cow. It’s a trade off.
Matt Watson 14:44
Yeah. Yeah. I mean, so the biggest, the biggest advice I would give people to just cash, the big check is to invest most of it in something that’s fairly low risk, and then take the income that you get From now, and then whatever you want to do with the income of that, let’s say you make $500,000 a year off a stock portfolio or whatever, right? Okay, take that 500 grand and do whatever you want with it. But, but keep that other nest egg there, right? So if you want to take that 500 grand and invest it in all sorts of dumb ideas, at least every year, you get another 500 grand to do dumb stuff with don’t spend all of your nest egg on the dumb stuff. Just live off the the income of that, you know, that’s probably one of the don’ts.
Matt DeCoursey 15:28
Don’t Don’t call on the mothership. Yeah. Yep, I feel like that’s advice that ice cube might have given someone at some point. So he’s talking about the mothership. You know, Matt, today’s episode of Startup Hustle is supported by compiler. It’s an original podcast from Red Hat. And much like ourselves, they spend a lot of time talking about tech topics Big, small and strange. And I recently checked out the Howard TechOps changing episode knew there’s a lot of really good insight in there. And, you know, similar they approach the realist approach to life and that things do change technology changes, you know, Red Hat’s and at its core is as a tech company. And I think that the folks that are that are putting out the compiler podcast are helping everyone understand that I think the moment that you think you figured everything out, or you know, what’s up with tech is the moment that you are way, way behind. Meaning these are things like tech, much like fashion, it’s never complete. It’s always changing. Oh, final version, you were just, you were just mentioning web three. And like, there’s a really, there’s a lot of really interesting stuff going on in tech. I mean, and that’s exactly what they’re talking about. And compiler, you can learn more about compiler at Red hat.com. There is a link in the show notes for that. So what you’re familiar with read out, right?
Matt Watson 16:54
Yeah, absolutely. Yep. We’ve used it before. You know, I think I think one of the keys to being an entrepreneur and starting a new business is also identifying the waves, right? And, and honestly, things like web three, and you talk talking about listening, the compiler is being able to identify those those trends and those waves that are happening in whatever industry you’re in, right? And being able to spot those, and being able to get on top get, you know, on the front edge of those trends, like seeing like, Okay, this thing is going to happen, right? And, I mean, that’s what I’m trying to do now, right? I’m trying to think, okay, like web three, and blockchain, things like that is like, is there? You know, what does that trend look like? And is does it make sense for me to jump on that trend and figure out, you know, where, you know, that’s a good opportunity, a good place to be as an entrepreneur.
Matt DeCoursey 17:48
I’m gonna put all my money into and into time machines, so I can go back and and remind myself that people got rich recently buying and selling JPEGs
Matt Watson 18:03
Yeah, you know, what’s funny is they’re not actually buying or selling a JPEG, either, it’s a link to a JPEG that even
Matt DeCoursey 18:13
talked about that we got a new series, it’s gonna pop, we’re gonna, we’re gonna explain NF Ts and, and in order to do that, we had to learn how to do it ourselves, which has actually honestly been fun and interesting. You know, everything from Matt learning how to code on top of the blockchain to, to me, you know, creating an actual NFT. So stay tuned, we’re gonna have fun with that, it’s going to be a little bit different than the stuff that we’ve done in the past. And yeah, and you know, that’s such an interesting space. But you know, now we’re talking about trends and changing you were mentioning some of that with a compiler podcast, as well. And thanks, again, to our friends over there that are doing that is like, if this stuff changes, like, there’s a lot of stuff that you can wrap your arms around passionately. And, you know, when we started Full Scale, I wasn’t inherently passionate about providing tech services to other companies. And you know, that the same time I am now because, you know, we, it’s what I’ve been doing, like 80 hours a week for four years. So sometimes you can, I think, get around things. The thing that I became passionate about is, I love helping other startups and working with peers and people we know. And like, I mean, I’m, I’ve become friends with a lot of our clients who reach out and say, Hey, man, I got a problem I need to solve. I’m not sure how to do it. You got any suggestions? And so, I mean, I think that the bottom line is is is you can find a there’s a lot of people out there that need help, input advice, and you can be involved with a lot of stuff or you can just start another business. Now. One of the things that a lot of people talk about when it comes to tech is bootstrapping. And you know, there’s this bootstrap mentality that a lot of people have in any computer lingo, you know, booting means starting a computer or starting to change processes, which eventually starts whole operating system. Now in the word in the world of startups and entrepreneurship, you also hear Bootstrap, meaning like I’m starting this with nothing. I think one thing that I’d like to hear your comments because you VinSolutions has a very interesting start that involves you like selling computers and running into a stranger at Sears. And next thing, you know, you have a huge exit. And then you have resources to start stack if I were you weren’t bootstrapped? Well, like looking back at those things, like what was the big difference? Like, did you did you? Did you have a bootstrap mentality at all, when you went back into sacrifice? Are you like, Hey, man, I just funded this thing myself.
Matt Watson 20:52
Well, and that’s, that’s part of the problem of, of having a six successful exit, right is now you have money, and you can spend it you like, Hey, I’m gonna do this the right way, I’m gonna hire a bunch of people, I’m gonna hire a marketing person, I’m gonna hire salesperson, I’m gonna do this, I’m gonna do that next thing, you know, you’re spending 50 grand a month, 100 grand a month on your little startup idea.
Matt DeCoursey 21:14
Instead of before you have anything to sell or market, instead of
Matt Watson 21:17
bootstrapping it, where you’re like, we don’t have any revenue. But we also don’t really have any expenses, because we are cheap ish. Where that’s, that’s part of the problem. That’s why people fail, right? They think they’re invincible. They think they can do this again. And as we all know, things take twice as long as as they as you think they’re going to take, right? And there’s a lot of uncertainty. And you don’t know if your startup idea is going to ever work at all. I was talking to me on the phone yesterday. And there’s three of them that are founders, and she and she’s going on and on about how who we are we got this partnership, and we got this deal and whatever. And it’s worth millions of dollars and data, data and all sounds great, like all the hype, and then he asked her, like, how many paying customers you have? Well, none, but we just got this big deal done. And on a day to day, it’s so easy to get wrapped up in the hype. You know what I’m going to tell that lady when I meet weather next week, everybody hates your product. Nobody’s paying for it. You can keep you can keep you can keep throwing all the hype, But ain’t nobody paying for it. Right? And what are your
Matt DeCoursey 22:17
long are your long way away? I mean, I talked about a lot of million dollar bedroom, the path to revenue, you’ve heard me say that, like, yeah, the path to revenue is is not always clear, you know, and the path to revenue. I mean, it’s like, if you’re starting a tech company, that’s long.
Matt Watson 22:34
And that’s the part, that’s the dangerous part, right is, is yeah, you just made all this money, and you don’t want to sync all of your money back back into something again. And that was honestly a mistake that I made, right, where you’re better off, use other people’s money, like, yeah, you want to own 100% of the company. But you know what, there ain’t nothing wrong with owning 30 or 40% of it and had no risk either. Let’s be
Matt DeCoursey 22:58
honest. Well, we mentioned path to revenue, that was one of the things that Full Scale that was really appealing to us is that our path to revenue was a lot shorter, like, hey, we provide services, here it is, you know, and we could generate revenue quickly. And and pile it up quickly, too, which we have certainly have done. And you know, some different businesses have different DNA, they have different paths to revenue and stuff like that. And now we’re talking about money and revenue, but a lot of reasons. I mean, for a lot of entrepreneurs, and you know, a lot of days, I kind of feel like this, too. It’s it’s not always about money. You know, and I know in business and entrepreneurship, were driven by that. But it’s kind of like I was alluding to earlier, like for a lot of people, especially if you’ve already got money in the bank, it kind of becomes more, it’s more experiential, like, hey, there are things that I want to do or there’s or really in the end, I think we mentioned that. Well, you were you were talking earlier, entrepreneurs want to solve problems. So adults don’t like to accomplish. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. And
Matt Watson 24:00
that’s the money is really the score. It’s not, it’s not really what it’s all about. Now, there are some people where it’s all about the money. I’ve had business churches that were like that they wanted to ring the bell on Wall Street and have their name and lights and it was all about them. And it was all about the money and whatever. But But for a lot of us, it’s more about the problem. It’s about the journey. And we like doing it. And we like building things like we’re architects, but we’re architects of businesses, right? And because big companies can’t innovate, we can innovate, we can take crazy ideas, we can figure out how to get them to market, and it’s fun. It’s fun to do that. But it’s also very risky, but it’s in our DNA to do it.
Matt DeCoursey 24:44
You know, one reason that I that I’ve seen people start businesses and I think this is the wrong reason is they want to start something that they’re hoping they can hand down to their children. And first off the stats on that are terrible, like terrible. Like generally like second generation businesses not good. Like they usually fail as a matter of fact, and that’s because the passion doesn’t exist, you know, like so I’m not a huge fan of that being the the why of starting a business now I guess
Matt Watson 25:16
we better start a Metaverse based company then because our kids gonna live in the metaverse.
Matt DeCoursey 25:20
We’re already on it. Apparently. Yeah. Yeah. I haven’t informed our employees. Yeah, that we know that Full Scale now pays and JPEGs. Hey, we’re gonna feel about that. Yeah.
Matt Watson 25:38
Our employees live in the metaverse now and their their payment is now closed in the metaverse and jam packed in the metaverse,
Matt DeCoursey 25:51
JPEGs and PNGs. Which, you know, when we were kids, you know, everyone offered to pay you and doll hairs. I’m pretty sure if you had like a billion doll hairs, there’s probably a buyer for that. And it probably has quite a bit of value. You know, I mean, right? It’s crazy, but not not. Not that we might have to do a whole nother series after about the metaverse because that that is it’s really funny. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized the so when I was a kid, I remember hearing buy real estate, they’re not making any more of it. Then the Internet came out, literally made more real estate. I mean, it’s essentially like what anyone wants a certain domains worth, you know, that’s and, you know, then it was like, Oh, well, that’s never gonna happen again. And now you got the metaverse. So I mean, who knows?
Matt Watson 26:42
There is no limit to the amount of property in the metaverse. I’m trying
Matt DeCoursey 26:45
to I’m trying to think about how we’re going. How do you actually record a podcast with a JPEG or an actual evoke cartoon a I might speak back.
Matt Watson 27:00
I just love that. I just love that Facebook thinks the future is the metaverse and then they’re metaverse. People have no legs, which I just don’t understand.
Matt DeCoursey 27:14
That’s it. Yeah. I was just on
Matt Watson 27:20
Facebook. Did you Did you see the big news from Google this week? So which one so Apple screwed Facebook when they change the privacy, their privacy around AD stuff. And Google announced this week they were going to do the same thing. So all the power of Facebook where you can advertise across devices and know what people are doing and it’s all going away between Apple and Google. I just think it’s hilarious. Poor Facebook.
Matt DeCoursey 27:45
There’s no poor Zuckerberg he’s only got like probably like 40 billion now. I’m still sitting here thinking about how I would interview or have a conversation for the podcasts in the metaverse and I keep thinking about all the times that in early AI when it went wrong like when they would like put an A like they put an AI on Twitter and because people are people it was immediately learned how to be hateful. to like turn it off or like the snake got racist in a hurry. That’s terrible. Yeah, like
Matt Watson 28:19
maybe maybe in Facebook metaverse. Nobody has legs because they didn’t want me to accidentally not have pants.
Matt DeCoursey 28:26
I don’t know. Loose wardrobes only cost half as much. I mean similar to when the pandemic the literally the fashion industry saw a surge in people only buying tops. Yes. Yeah. Which I thought was pretty funny. I bet now with with things calming down and business getting back to normal for some people, I doubt the pants industry is back on fire. So let’s face that’s just another mistake Facebook’s making.
Matt Watson 28:55
bringing this back to our topic when I mentioned earlier, it’s it’s like as an entrepreneur, we look at all these things. We figure out how do we jump on top of these trends, right, like Metaverse, and the things that COVID change, like, you know, that’s the things we sit around like, as entrepreneurs, we keep thinking about like, wow, this is changing. This is changing the metaverse like how can I get? How can I be part of this? Right? And I don’t know why it’s just in our DNA. Why why do we Why do we want to jump on this shit?
Matt DeCoursey 29:23
It’s crazy. I agree. Well, it’s kind of brings up the final point. I mean, I think really, in the end, why why do we start startups or keep doing a lot of this stuff is? I mean, it is a way of life. It is a real thing. It’s like, I mean, it’s when you like what you do, and you’re passionate about it. It’s not work. I mean, I have told people for the longest time that my hobby is making money and I haven’t worked a day since I made that decision. And it is actually true. Because you know, the thing is, I think when you’re fully When you’re fully committed as an entrepreneur, like I, I’m, you know, like, what am I going to do? I’m ready to quit tomorrow Am I gonna leave 250 People in the lurch like, it is a way of life and it’s and without much like the example of the of the musician on the stage in front of 15,000 people think a lot I think a lot entrepreneurs, and I think a lot of people just miss that just would just miss the involvement. And, you know, let’s, let’s get back down to the people component. I mean, you know, I, one of our employees telling me just the other day, like, basically thanking me, for the positive impact, that the opportunity we’ve given them at Full Scale is created in a lot of different stuff. I’ve learned a lot from you. And you know, the thing is, is like, as I’ve gotten older, I think that the knowledge transfer thing is honestly just as rewarding as the money.
Matt Watson 30:54
Well, in for sure, we, we we enjoy the the work families that we have, right? And, you know, that’s one of the things I really miss from stock fi you know, now that sci fi is long gone, right? Like we had like a great co workers, I don’t know, like work family. And at the end of the day, I feel like what really makes us entrepreneurs is we’re a lot of us are inventors, we’re innovators, we like to do things we like to solve problems, we like to do things that people say can’t be done, right? Like we, it’s just in our DNA, I feel like, you know, myself as a software engineer, like I relate to being like the weird inventor in the garage, right? There’s always tinkering with weird shit. And Vince randomly invents weird things, right. And as software developers, we’re kind of that way we can innovate and invent and solve weird problems and, and then create a business out of it. And that’s, that’s kind of the, you know, the gold rush of this generation, right. As software developers, we can build software, we can build tech companies. And you know, that’s, that’s just in my DNA, right? I’m always tinkering. I’m trying to figure out what am I going to invent? What you know, where is there an opportunity to solve a problem with code with technology, right? And then then you have pure business people that are like, I just want to make money, like how do I how do I build a product and sell it and build a business out of it? Like, the the invention is great, but we got to take it to market we got to build a whole business around it, you have that side of it, too. And some people just love to build businesses, right? It’s not necessarily about the innovation. It’s just they like to build businesses like to make money. And that’s fun, too. So
Matt DeCoursey 32:32
once again, today’s episode, Startup Hustle was supported by compiler. That’s an original podcast from Red Hat discussing tech topics Big, small and sometimes strange. You can listen to compiler on Apple podcasts or anywhere. You listen to podcasts. We’ll also include a link in the show notes, many thanks to compiler for supporting today’s episode. Which by the way, Matt is the 790/9 episode of Startup Hustle.
Matt Watson 32:59
Matt DeCoursey 33:01
Yeah, you know, I have had someone a lot of people have joined us in Startup Hustle chat. And there I mentioned, I had posted something a week ago, and we had a new listener and you know, maybe, maybe we will, they will, he was like I went, Oh, I’m a new listener. I’m about 25 episodes in I went back and started from number one. I actually spoke about not wanting to start something over I actually apologized to him. And in the reply, I was like, Thank you for the support and I promise we get better.
Matt Watson 33:34
Yeah. Because I think it’s crazy people started episode one.
Matt DeCoursey 33:38
I’m honestly it’s on my to do list to go put a short disclaimer at the beginning of that, because I think a lot of people do want rather than it just starting and I want to be like I literally thought it out. I’m like, so you’re the person that wanted to go back and started episode one. Thank you, for your optimistic for your optimism, for your enthusiasm and for your aggressive belief that you will catch up to our current publishing I promise we will get better. And if you don’t, if you think we suck, maybe go forward a couple 100 episodes. Like that. So anyway, yeah. All right. So Matt, you know what, we’re gonna do a different founders freestyle today because we’re going to we’re going to do it that’s going to you know, here is 52 series, all 52 Now for those of you listening, if you’re going man, how do I get off 52 series all 52 episodes, we actually have built a link directory for that that we’re going to be posting and we have to now go back and edit 52 shownotes to make that happen, but we want to make it easy for you to be able to find those and listen to them in sequence also look for hopefully by the time this episodes come out blog at Startup Hustle dot XYZ that also has the the Link directory in it as well. So meaning like, we want you to be able to go through it sequentially. So Matt here, you know, hey, this wasn’t a small task dude. Like, this was 52 different instances of recording, planning, thinking it out like, I mean, let’s start with today’s episode and then come back for the series.
Matt Watson 35:23
Well, it’s, it’s been really fun to record all of these. And, you know, in general, you know, we just we’ve talked a lot about why we start startups. And for me, as a software developer, I just like solving problems with code. I think it’s fun, and I love I love their, you know, working with customers and solving their problems, right? It’s just awesome. Just like you talked about working with customers, the Full Scale, right? Like, you get to talk to them, and they tell you about the problems they have. And you’re like, oh, yeah, our employees can help you solve these problems, right? It’s awesome. Yeah. And as a developer, I love you know, dealing directly with the customers, right? Like, oh, our, you know, how we do this thing is very inefficient, or it’s slow. And actually, I had a phone call yesterday with somebody like, like, I click this button in my software, and it takes two seconds to, it takes forever, I’m like, I can help you figure out how to make that faster. It’s just fun. Like, I just enjoy solving problems. And as a developer, it’s just now doing it for 20 years. It’s just something I enjoy doing. It’s weird, I guess.
Matt DeCoursey 36:23
I think with the for the, for the freestyle, today’s episode, I mean, kind of like you maybe not as much with code, because, you know, dude, I’ve I’ve been involved in a lot of different businesses. I mean, even at one point a few years ago, and you’re aware of this, I invested in a business that delivered fitness equipment, and did really well with that. And, and thanks, Charlie, you’ve met Charlie before. So you know, now with that, I’ll give you an example. I actually sold him back my shares when Full Scale really started taking off because, well, I, I wanted to be fair to him, you know, I didn’t want to just be like the dude that own 25% of a company that, you know, or whatever. So, you know, in some cases, you know, and he’s done really well, they expanded to three or four or five different cities and, and have done really well with that. And I like, I like seeing that. And I like, kind of like you I mean, I like I like helping people be do better and get better. And, and I don’t know, like find the fight live their best life on many days. I don’t I really was serious about the lack of desire to be like day one on anything. I, I’ve, I’ve been I’ve thought about that. You know, as I’ve gotten older, I mean, I’m 40. So for those of you listening, Watson mentioned, he’s 40. I’m 46. Now I got a lot of good years left in me at least like 60 or 70. Good years, right? Yeah, yeah. Yeah, I figured with the way if I make enough money that I can expect a lifespan of at least 200 to 250. We’re gonna
Matt Watson 37:57
start replacing different parts of you and making you by on it
Matt DeCoursey 38:01
while I’m going into the metaverse. Yeah, I mean, that’s the plan is map, there’s the problem that’s gonna solve he’s gonna figure out how to keep you alive, code me know, and code me, you’re gonna turn me into code. So, I mean, it’s one thing to chop up a Photoshop file, it’s gonna be a completely different thing to chop me up, Matt. So we’ll work on that. Okay. But with that, you know, I think the really in the end of the why you start starts, I just think it’s just like, it’s inherent, you know, it’s exciting, and it’s fun. Seeing other people, like, if you can help other people get what they want, then you get what you want. And, you know, and that’s and that’s a big thing. And I think that that’s a key ingredient and one of the things you mentioned earlier is a lot of people start things for the money. I don’t that I that’s not my primary driver, it never has been I like I want to do stuff and the money is a byproduct. So many people have asked over the years what I needed to do to make more money, you need to get really good at something. And money is a byproduct of that you refer to it as the score. I’ve heard a lot of people say that now. If you follow me on social you might have I just had I did like I did not messing around with reels, you know, the little 32nd and 15 second things and I did a 15 second one that went out to 1000s and 1000s of people and got a lot of engagement but financial success is you being when you’re not worried about money. And that’s different from everyone. So you know, like, I mean, your exit or your whatever may be really great. It may not but one thing I do know is I don’t like being worried about money. So as you mentioned, like I think any approach or anything I do down the road would be as a contributor or getting on something that was already going anything where I don’t have to do the first six months because Good lord, those are the worst two.
Matt Watson 39:52
Yep, it’s it’s no fun at all.
Matt DeCoursey 39:56
So how about the series man?
Matt Watson 39:59
You know this This has been a great series. And I do hope there are people that go back and listen to all 52 episodes of it for sure. And I think we’ve covered a lot of great stuff along the way. I think some of the most important ones are about the reality of starting a company and how hard it is, and how hard it is to identify, you know, product market fit, you know, I, I mentioned this lady, I talked to you yesterday, and it’s like, she’s got all the hype, and she thinks this and thinks that and sees big stars and everything that has no customers, right, and it’s easy to get, you know, sucked into the hype of all of it and, and the excitement of all of it too. But the reality is, you got to have revenue, you got to have customers, and it’s an it’s a long, difficult journey to get to, and she probably hasn’t come to the reality of that yet. And I might not be so nice and tell her that when I meet with her, but that’s the reality that people need to understand. It’s like, you got to stop believing the hype. And until you’ve got actual paying customers, you’ve got a long ways to go. So I hope that hopefully, we saved some people some time and money, by the things that they can learn from us. It’s a hard, difficult journey. It’s worth the journey, it’s a lot of fun, it’s a lot of excitement. And I don’t know why we continue to do it, we’re a glutton for punishment, as you said, I’m with you, I’m not really sure I want to go through all have it again. Maybe if you have the right team, and then that might be where having founders makes a lot of it easier. Like I’d rather have three or four founders, because it’s just so much easier to do all this with with, you know, other partners, all that brings its own challenges too. But especially being a solo entrepreneur at the very, very beginning of it is very difficult.
Matt DeCoursey 41:52
Here, here now, you know, in regard to the whole series, and you know, 52 parts I do, I do find it amusing that, that, that it came a day, a little late, you know, when when mountain I saw mountain, I started Startup Hustle just over four years ago, and I was it very actively trying to figure out what I was going to do when I grew up at that point, I was in between companies, I was trying to figure some stuff out. And I said, you know, do we should do a podcast? Is if what what what would it be about? And we both kind of talked for a minute, and we said yeah, it shouldn’t just be about any success we had. And we very quickly just kind of spit balled. So you know, I’ve some of my books. I’ve had the word realist in the title as like, we should just come with a real real approach. And yeah, well, let’s just be real obvious. Let’s just tell it like it is. And we’re gonna piss some people off. Who cares? You know, cuz it’s gonna happen anyway. But we created Startup Hustle. It’s like, we’ve often referred to this as the real story of entrepreneurship. You know, the second episode one was an intro to Startup Hustle. Episode Two was titled getting funded sucks. And I think, you know, like, we came out of the box with a lot of reality. And I feel like that’s what we did with this series. You know, and I think that, and honestly, I’m pretty proud of this, this 52 part run, because, you know, like, I think we hit a lot of stuff. That was really important. I think that this couldn’t have been done in 10 episodes, or couldn’t have been done. Well. You know, and you look at we go all the way back. And and, you know, there was a lot of thought and preparation that went into this, unlike the first 52 episodes of Startup Hustle, you know, but you get back into I feel like this is a pretty comprehensive view. And including, you know, some of the episodes were were lesson related, just kind of like important data, and some of them are soul searching, like literally, why do you want to start a startup that was the first of the series? And what and what to expect? And you know, honestly, we probably scared some people off with that. And we even apologized in the beginning series, were like, hey, look, we don’t want to sound negative. We’re just being real with you. And there was someone that laughed in there. Like these guys are shitting Oh, my dreams. Yeah, we saved you, bro. We saved you because you didn’t do it because you weren’t ready for it. But I felt like we were really real about it. You know, and and that’s, you know, like I said, we’re going to find a link in this show, because it’ll be in there by then. And also go over to Startup Hustle dot XYZ, where we’re going to make it real easy to access this particular series. And hopefully you enjoyed the series. I know it was a lot to keep up with. And it’s mixed in amongst other stuff. But yeah, I think we created something of value here. And I think that you know, I know that I know, because I see analytics. I know a lot of you have been following the series because they’re getting above average downloads compared to everything else. So you know, thanks for the support. Artan Yeah, I think really in the end your journey is your journey, it’s not going to be the same as Matt Watson is, it’s not going to be the same as Matt DeCoursey is not going to be the same as any of our guests. It’s gonna be something that you have to figure out and having info and put and the people around you that support it that they’re honest with you back to that’s, that’s what I’m always the most proud about about Startup Hustle is, we don’t fuck around, man. Like, I’m just going to tell you how it is and say it how it is I’m not going to clean it up. I’m not going to tell you something’s going to be easy when it’s not. And entrepreneurship isn’t easy. Hopefully, you can use what you learned from the show this series and all the people that come on it and do something awesome yourself. And when you do reach out, because we we want probably want to have you as a guest, right?
Matt Watson 45:47
Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah.
Matt DeCoursey 45:49
Let’s talk about it. Did you have an episode that stuck out? But by the way, do you know that I thought this was there was actually an episode that you weren’t on? Oh, really? Yeah, I guess I was so shocked. I was looking back at it. And I was like, Wait a minute. Yeah, you had to go. You have like a last minute cancel. And for whatever reason, I don’t know. I was shocked. There was one I can’t remember which one it was oh, here because I thought I was looking at building building the putting all the links together. And I was like, wait a minute, Watson. I don’t know how that snuck in.
Matt Watson 46:23
So yeah, I’m not sure. I think one of my favorite topics is is gotta be around product market fit. That’s something you hear me talk about a lot. I think that’s really the most important.
Matt DeCoursey 46:34
Yeah, go to market strategy, that kind of stuff. Anything involving sales. I enjoy those. I do. Honestly, I think number two, what to expect as a startup founder, i Those are the ones I always liked the most were like, hey, look, sit down for a minute, and let me tell you how this shit really goes is to, uh, compared to how you think it might go. And I think that that’s important in life, getting, you know, getting people it’ll just tell you, they’ll just be real about it. And you know, it is what it is. Yep. All right. Well, I guess it’s on to the next one. We’re gonna you know, tune in soon, like real soon because when you see the episode titled WTF as an NF t, you know that that series has begun. We can’t wait we are we are going to take a very candid and hopefully informative view through the world of NF TS because I know all of you are pretending that you know what that’s like, but probably don’t including us, but I’m figuring it out, Matt. So I’m gonna get I’m gonna get to work, figuring out I’m going to take all the money we’ve made as entrepreneurs and thrown it back into JPEGs.
Matt Watson 47:47
Sounds like a great investment to me.
Matt DeCoursey 47:50
By the way, don’t say that to anyone that’s really into NF T’s they get really shitty about it.
Matt Watson 47:55
Alright, see you, man.