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EMAILED ON December 7, 2017 BY THE HUSTLE

The eternal optimism of being a tech founder

This year, VC fund, First Round capital surveyed 869 founders for their annual “State of Startups” report

One of the chief takeaways? Most entrepreneurs seem to wear rose-colored glasses when it comes to thinking about the well-being of their companies — but reality doesn’t always match perception.

Perception: 50% of founders think they’ll be profitable in 1-2 years

Reality: ⅔ are optimizing for growth, not profitability

25% of founders admit they’ve made the mistake of letting their burn rate get “too high” while growing their business. Yet, “curbing burn rate” is only a moderate priority for 55% of respondents.

Perception: Sensitivity training and more women VCs will solve workplace harassment

Reality: Only 17% currently have formal plans in place to promote diversity and inclusion

And, nearly 60% said their board was all male. That said, admitting there’s a problem is the first step. We’ll see if next year’s stats look any different… 

Perception: 41.8% of respondents are confident they have a “decent shot” of becoming a billion dollar company 

Reality: There is a “0.00006% chance” of this actually happening

Guess they never read this damning First Round article or CBInsights’ slightly more favorable ballpark of about 1%.

We don’t mean to dump on the founder mentality

Starting a company isn’t for the faint of heart, and it takes a certain level of “blind ambition” to weather the storm of startup life. 

Instead, consider this more of a PSA not to let indomitable optimism keep you from course-correcting when you see an iceberg.

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