Learn from podcasts in a minute or less. Startups, tech, stories and more. Editor's choice, delivered every morning. It's free!

Today on The Startup Chat, Steli and Hiten talk about becoming cynical or jaded as a founder.

One of the beautiful things about being an entrepreneur for the first time is that you have this youthful and blissful mind. You feel like everything is possible and everything you learn is mind blowing to you. But, this state of bliss wears off as time goes by and you get more experienced.

In this week’s episode, Steli and Hiten share their thoughts on why new founders are less cynical than experienced founders, how to approach new ideas and much more.

Time Stamped Show Notes:

00:00 About today’s topic

00:36 The beautiful thing about being a first-time entrepreneur.

01:15 When new entrepreneurs typically start to become jaded.

01:55 How Hiten views cynicism in entrepreneurs.

02:16 How ideas can be fragile.

02:58 How Hiten reacts to new ideas.

04:20 Why you need to think through ideas versus shutting them down.

05:36 A quote from Jeff Bezos.

06:03 A hack that Steli has helped Steli in his entrepreneurial journey.

3 Key Points:

The more experienced the founder, the more cynical they are to new ideas.

People start leaning towards “why this CAN’T be done” versus “why this CAN be done”.

Ideas are fragile.


Steli Efti: Boom. Hey.



Hiten Shah: Cool.



Steli Efti: This is Steli Efti.



Hiten Shah: This is Hiten Shah.



Steli Efti: In today's episode of The Startup Chat, here's a quick episode I wanna ... A topic I want to discuss with you Hiten and that is the topic of becoming cynical or jaded as a founder. Right? In the beginning, one of the most beautiful things about being a founder and entrepreneur, especially when it's your first time is that you have this ... The bliss of ignorance, right? You have this youthful beginner's mind. Everything is possible. Everything you learn is like a mind blown new fact and it's an exciting thing to start a company from scratch, you come up with a name, a logo, a landing page, the first birth of your product, you start talking to people. It's super exciting. But if you've been doing startups and you've been a founder and entrepreneur for a minute, for years and you've done as many companies as you and I have done, right? As time goes by-



Hiten Shah: Yeah.



Steli Efti: We have more and more entrepreneurs that have been around the block and have done a few things already. It is hard not to become a little jaded, a little cynical. The more experienced the founders are that I talked to, the more I detect in them, and I've detected this in me as well, I'm not above this, a certain cynicism when new ideas are being discussed, new things are being discussed. People start leaning more towards why can't this be done than on the why could this be done. I wanted to talk to you about this. How do you think about cynicism in startups and entrepreneurship and being jaded? Is this a good thing? Is this a problem? Is it not a problem? How do you think about it in general? What have you observed? Let's just unpack this a little bit for the two of us.



Hiten Shah: I know you like quotes.



Steli Efti: Yes, I do.



Hiten Shah: I do too. It's not necessarily a quote but it's a line that somehow I picked up and apparently Steve Jobs said and it's just this idea that ideas are fragile. I have this with some people around me. Not a lot, where their first impulse of an idea is to think through risk. I call it just thinking through risk. They're not trying to shoot it down. They're just like, why would this not work. Their, basically, way of processing the idea has to do with an immediate impulse of assessing r...

Key points in this episode

Key Highlights

Learn instantly from the Smash Notes weekly ->

Suggested Episodes