Entrepreneurship and Parenthood …


I read an article on TechCrunch sometime back which was about similarities between entrepreneurship and parenthood. The author beautifully explained the remarkable similarities which exists between an entrepreneur and a parent. Here is one part of the article which I like the most, it is something which is true beyond any doubt.

I’ve never met an entrepreneur who regretted taking that path, even if it cost them everything. I’ve never met a parent who regretted having children, no matter what sacrifices they made to raise them.

Today morning I read the news about Jerry Yang resigning from the board of the company (Yahoo!) he founded seventeen years back. As per the news, one of the Yahoo shareholder wanted Jerry out of the board. The news struck me hard, I was dumbstruck for a few moments. What I found very disturbing was the fact that Jerry Yang had to resign from the company he founded himself. Jerry Yang was a visionary, there was a time first thing which came to mind after hearing Internet was Yahoo (though it’s Google and Facebook now). However that is not the point of this post.

How would you feel if someone takes your child away from you? If you believe there are similarities in entrepreneurs and parenthood like me then  you’ll probably agree that’s how Jerry Yang must have felt when he was asked to resign from the board of directors. That’s how Steve Jobs may have felt when we was ousted from Apple after the (in)famous Palace Coup. Or may be I am out of my mind and most of the entrepreneurs do not feel this way. In fact, many entrepreneurs have a exit strategy even before they have a product or service in place, which is like feeding a chicken well so one day it can be sold in return of good price (RoI). If entrepreneurship and parenthood are similar then this can’t be entrepreneurship.

For the record, I am not trying to say whether having a exit strategy is good or bad. Many of the companies are born now a days with the sole objective to be acquired by the likes of Google and Facebook one day so I would be mad to say having an exist strategy is bad. My liking for the analogy between entrepreneurship and parenthood challenged my belief when I read the news about Jerry Yang’s resignation which resulted in this outburst. My sanity says this is how businesses are run so there is nothing unusual about the news. Probably that’s right so I should now stop bothering myself and the readers (if any).