I can design an engine
64 miles to a gallon of gasoline
I can make new antibiotics
I can make computers survive aquatic, conditions
– Flobots (Handlebars)
Our Startup Weekend team has been spending a lot of time researching the capabilities of 3D printers and being absolutely amazed. Almost everyone who read my post has asked me what can and cannot be printed with our current technology. So I figured I’d elaborate a bit.
The technology has come a long way since I first heard about it years ago. It isn’t just plastics that can be printed, check out this partial list of printable materials (hint: the links are to some cool videos and pictures):
Plastics (Thermoplastics like ABS and PLS / Acrylic / Alumide)
Metals (Titanium, Gold, Sterling Silver and many other metal alloys)
Other (Wood, Ceramics, Glass, Sands like quartz for molds, Resins)
During my last trip back to the East Coast it was obvious that people didn’t understand why I’d become an entrepreneur. Why give up a successful career trajectory for something with a 90% chance of failure? It bothered me and I wanted to start getting my thoughts down, I want to revisit and expand on this topic later. For now, the basic answer is that my life goals and desired lifestyle are not achievable with a job.
Like @mattmireles I grew up as the middle class kid amongst the super rich. This gave me both a strong desire to change my economic positon and also an outsiders mentality. It was obvious that the if the status quo remained I’d never move up. So throughout my life I’ve tried to create things that break the paradigm.
While my last job was perfect for me, the next roles I saw in the future weren’t. It was apparent that the highest I could reach at a large company would be an exec role entrusted to maintaining steady growth and compensated to live a comfortable, and always working, lifestyle. This just wasn’t what I personally wanted and the thought of settling down into a routine job and lifestyle scared me. I still harbor dreams of changing the world and living an adventure. The corporate career path seemed to conflict with that dream.
Entrepreneurship on the other hand feeds directly on passion, profit from disrupting the status quo, and is one of the biggest adventures one could undertake. There is a definitive risk of failure, but the payoff if successful in both money and status is far beyond what is achievable in a job. In essence I’m risking comfort for a chance to be extraordinary.
Its hard at this very moment because I’m not earning what I was, but I’m compensated well by having a lot of fun, working with great people and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. This first project, successful or not, is a chance to really learn the ropes and in that way I see it as an investment.
I know quite a few of the readers here have made, or are contemplating, similar decisions. Use the comment box to tell us what you think.