Some Founders Build to Belong

Why founders start businesses always intrigues me. I’ve paid attention to this question over the years so I have insight into what motivates people, and I can tell you that sometimes it’s not for the reasons you would think.

I’ve connected with two founders with amazing success stories who’ve sold their companies. They don’t know each other, but they were motivated to create by the same thing. They knew problems existed that they wanted to solve. They felt like they didn’t fit in at traditional organizations because they didn’t go to Ivy League schools or have unique relationships. They felt strongly about solving these problems in environments that welcomed them. Such places didn’t exist, so they set out to create them.

Fast forward to now. One founder’s venture capital firm manages over $500 million on behalf of its investors. The other founder’s company has hundreds of employees and annual revenue approaching $100 million. Both were built from scratch.

I love both of these stories. These founders were motivated to solve problems they were passionate about and to do it in places that were more open and accepting of them and others like them. You could call that a win–win.