Stoking the Star Maker Machinery Behind The Popular App

To many of the current incubators seem focused on “on hit wonder” startups designed to be acquired quickly. Apps are the new pop songs and the incubators are the music labels, stoking the star maker machinery.

Stoking the Star Maker Machinery Behind The Popular App

“Startups are a force for good because they have proven over time to be the best vehicle for pursuing innovation. But not all startups are innovative. We can never have enough startups that are pursuing unique solutions to important problems. But a profusion of “me-too” startups can actually damage the startup ecosystem by consuming the sunlight (funding, engineers) that would otherwise go to more unique and innovative startups.”
Chris Yeh in “Can We Ever Have Too Many Startups?” (emphasis added).

I think that many of the next generation incubators (e.g. YCombinator, 500 Startups, etc….) are funding app startups that are the equivalent of “one hit wonder” bands.  Apps are the new pop songs and the incubators are the music labels.

Work On Stuff That Matters

I blogged about “Entrepreneurial Motivation” in January of 2009, highlighting Tim O’Reilly’s thought provoking post “Work on Stuff that Matters” from earlier that month. O’Reilly highlighted three principles:

  1. Work on something that matters to you more than money.
  2. Create more value than you capture.
  3. Take the long view.

that I still find very valuable. I want to work on things that will make a meaningful difference in people’s lives. And like Randall Munroe, “I never trust anyone who’s more excited about success than about doing the thing they want to be successful at.”

I was a free man in Paris
I felt unfettered and alive
There was nobody calling me up for favors
And no one’s future to decide
You know I’d go back there tomorrow
But for the work I’ve taken on
Stoking the star maker machinery
Behind the popular song

Lyrics from Joni Mitchell’s “Free Man In Paris”

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4 thoughts on “Stoking the Star Maker Machinery Behind The Popular App”

  1. I *want* to love TechStars and Ycom, but you’re probably right here.

    Could there ever be an incubator, though, based around finding and starting the Radioheads of the startup world? Better question – do those startups even NEED incubators?

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