Revenge Startups – Yum!

Over 300,000 people in tech have lost their jobs since 2022. And they’re out for revenge.

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A revenge startup, to be exact. From a report out today in The Wall Street Journal:

Jen Zhu co-founded Maida Health Inc., a startup that provides software tools for healthcare organizations, after her job as a senior manager of program development at Carbon Health Technologies Inc. was eliminated last year. “For me it was initially a sense of relief,” Ms. Zhu said of her dismissal, which made her feel like she “didn’t have an excuse anymore” not to pursue her entrepreneurial ambitions, she said.

I love revenge startups! These founders have amazing skills honed for years at the best companies.

But more importantly, they’re pissed off.

They’re pissed off at the boss who fired them. And maybe they’re pissed off at themselves too — for waiting too long to follow their dreams.

“I’ll show you!” is a powerful motivator.

Give me an unbalanced, chip on her shoulder, slightly crazy founder any day! The calmest person isn’t necessarily the best entrepreneur.

Even better, these revenge founders are recruiting at the perfect time. Great talent is more available than it has been in years.

A few talented people and something to prove — that’s all a startup needs.

Some investors are skeptical of founders who were laid off:

“Wesley Chan, co-founder and managing partner at FPV Capital, a $450 million early-stage venture firm, says his firm has received pitches from founders affected by layoffs. “We always encourage them to pursue their idea but we are unlikely to fund it,” he said. “The startups that drive exceptional returns have been thinking of their idea their entire lives.” 

I disagree. Did Elon think about electric cars all his life? Was Travis always focused on killing taxis?

No. Elon and Travis worked on completely different businesses before Tesla and Uber (payments and file sharing, respectively).

But what about this scary fundraising landscape? Don’t worry about it.

I’ve seen companies run out of money completely and keep grinding. And I’ve seen others raise millions from the best investors and self-destruct.

If you make something people want and stay focused, you can succeed! And you’ll never miss that cushy job at Google.

Are you starting a revenge startup? Leave a comment and let us know!

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6 thoughts on “Revenge Startups – Yum!”

  1. Oh yes, I absolutely agree. Angry professionals can be the most powerful force. I’m not sure how beneficial it is in the long term; it’s probably better to work with these emotions, but it’s definitely a force that can and should be used.
    I’m not a revenge startup founder, but I am a founder from Ukraine. I understand very well what you’re talking about. At the beginning of 2022, we worked in a completely different market. The war changed a lot, and to survive, keep jobs for my team, make money, and donate to the army, my team sent me to the United States. Whether you want to or not, you’re filled with anger and your only goal is to win on all fronts. You have to turn your startup into a stable business that makes money. Oh yes, I understand that very well.


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