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Ankita Katdare
Ankita Katdare • Jan 25, 2016

Fake It Till You Make It - Does that attitude work for startups?

In the later part of last year, at a startup pitch event on a Saturday evening, I heard a guy declare that he had received thousands of dollars in funding that same afternoon. He got up on stage to talk about his product and by the end of his 10th slide, he had announced that he had received a huge sum of money. Actually, he said, "I came to this event after confirming the deal on the telephone." The audience broke into a round of applause and why not? Don't we all love to celebrate our young and happening startup founders?

Fast forward to 2 months and the same guy is working out of his house and has no money in his bank account. I concluded, "He was trying to fake it till he made it."

At several such conferences and startup weekend events, people seem to be throwing HUGE figures over cups of coffees at each other and basking in the glory of the pats they receive on their backs. Not just about funds received or revenue generated, but also about the products, its features, their kick-ass customer service and what not.

I have been wondering for quite some time about the whole 'fake it till you make it' attitude and whether it works or not. Based on my observations so far, it really does seem to work. Startup Founders invariably seem to be struggling on every front - be it generating enough money to keep afloat or just finding the right guy to develop their product. No one feels competent 100% of the time, but they press on. At times, people don't take these young entrepreneurs seriously. Sometimes, people simply won't listen to you if you don't cook up stories or use fake names and affiliations.

I would be lying if I say I didn't find it disgusting that people would fake such things and bloat their confidence levels. All for momentary happiness. Some would even go at length to call such startup founders 'wanna-be' chumps in a demeaning kind of way.

So, do you think it's ok to fake it till you make it? Really looking forward to read your experiences and insights on this.
Who will I be cheating if I fake it?
Only myself. What a horror! To live with that forever inside me. Better die a pauper.
Charan V
Charan V • Jan 25, 2016
I would say exaggerate a bit if you can do it. That is the rule of thumb in 'anything'.
The guy who faked it lost everything because he actually told he got huge sum of money, so investors will think "why pouring more ?"

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