99% of startups fail and yet we still love to increase our chances of failure. We are surrounded by the misconception that if you want to start a company, it’s got to be a billion dollar company. NO!

The people who are telling you to do that are large VC firms who want to make lot of money.

Entrepreneurs who have done it also tell others to chase big startup ideas. But guess what? On day 1, even they didn’t know that they were starting billion dollar companies.

Are you telling me that Zuck knew he was creating a multi-billion dollar company? BS. Are you telling me that Jack Dorsey knew he was a creating a multi-billion dollar company? BS.

But wait! What about Elon Musk? He’s created not 1 but 3 billion dollar companies! If you really look carefully, he’s actually picked existing markets which were inefficient for various reasons and innovated on the product and marketing. Electric cars? They were around in the 90’s but got withdrawn due to conspiracy. Tesla brought them back by making them sleek and hopefully making them cheaper. Rockets? Elon figured out how to make rockets cheaper and better than NASA.

Look at this short rant by Dave McClure on how everything sucks about the food industry as an example.

To start is the hardest part. When you tell a 20 year old or anyone who wants to start a business that they need to create a billion dollar company, you are already setting them up for failure.

You cannot get to a billion without getting to a 100 million. And you cannot get to a 100 million without getting to 1 million.

Is working on 3d printing bad? Absolutely not. It’s probably much easier to find a niche market or one that has been dominated by dinosaur companies where you can out innovate them with better marketing, product and lower costs.

Most important is to actually start. You will be highly afraid chasing a billion dollar idea from day 1. But if you chase a 1 million dollar idea, your chances of success are going to be much higher.

You might say “Hey Smit, that’s not thinking big!” Reality is, that it’s equally hard to chase a 1 million dollar idea as it is to chase the billion dollar idea. Sure the challenges might be different but you will still need an intense work ethic and drive. Only difference is your chances of success will be slightly higher.

I’m not by any means saying that you don’t need to be passionate. You still need to have a vision for even a 1 million dollar company.

Stop listening to the noise and start something achievable first. It will build up your confidence. And no one said you can’t start a second company after succeeding with the first one. Maybe that can be the billion dollar one  = )