Startup Wasteland

Season One - Trailer


Posted February 13, 2024 3:43 PM

Each year 300 Million people worldwide launch a new business. That's roughly the population of the United States. Given that the majority fail, what motivates people to take such extreme risks.

Humans love adventure. We love competition and being first. We are willing to risk our own survival to discover and explore just for the hope, of something better.

It's in our DNA. Our desire for agency is what creates a strong drive toward entrepreneurship - Be it starting a small mom-and-pop, a side hustle with the hopes of turning it into a full-time job, or shooting for the moon the desire to create a legacy, for many, outweighs the extreme risks. Volatility in markets, the pandemic, extreme booms and busts, bubbles, and downturns have accelerated the increase in the number of businesses being created. The worldwide startup ecosystem grew by 18% CAGR and that was despite investor funding being nearly half of the previous year's value. 

People are finding that they would rather be behind the wheel when they drive off the cliff than the backseat.

And while much time and investment have been poured into slick user interfaces, no-code systems, accelerators, incubators, venture builders, and new funds the startup failure rate has continued to rise at an alarming rate seemingly unabated by the training wheels and technological advancements supposedly designed to help startups. 

If we can actually go to the moon, create rockets that return to earth, and build AI that mimics human emotions, then why can't we build a more resilient ecosystem where success is table stakes and more founders get a seat at the table across a diverse mosaic of faces, cultures, orientations, and backgrounds.

The startup ecosystem has failed to digitally transform. It remains locked into some weird 80's timewarp where greed is good and Gorden Gecko reigns supreme. For lack of more eloquent terminology.

That's shit's broken.

It not only continues to fail founders who miraculously succeed in running the gauntlet and those who come from a background of privilege but it also fails its most fragile founders the ones who come from unsupported and underrepresented groups but who are literally driving the world's most popular technologies and the influencers behind the hottest trends.

And for all of our technological advancements building a startup you'd think would become easier, but it's still insanely hard, it's highly technical, labor and capital-intensive. Knowledge is often hoarded kept in walled gardens and behind paywalls with just enough getting out to make you bite but not enough to create a clear path to success. 

For some reason when the word "startup" is added to a business the prices go way up, the service goes way down, and the predators and parasites come out. Founders often lose more runway simply trying to navigate the traps and gaps than actually building their products.

This is because startups have become the product not their success.

For decades investment has flowed into startups making it more lucrative for vendors in the startup ecosystem to turn and burn startups then it is to get them to a successful exit. And, with the "Most startups fail anyway" narrative there's little accountability.

See the people selling the picks and shovels don't care if you find the gold.

Without the motivation to create successful startups with healthy profits the majority of startups will continue to fail falling victim to a broken system that has no desire to fix itself.

We understand the pitfalls of the startup ecosystem because we've lived it firsthand. We've lived the failures, the friction, and the gaps. The bad advice given from experts who come highly recommended but keep sending bills without the benefits of success. We've backtracked, hired and hired again, spent money without the desired outcomes and experienced setbacks that were almost fatal. 

Our experiences, desires, and "If we only had" led us to ask

Is it possible to design a system where the motivation to help more startups succeed was baked in and where the startups' success was the system's success?

It seems simple but is it possible to achieve?

The startup ecosystem has not only failed to evolve. It doesn't really want to. Keeping startups reliant on the system ensures the status quo and money flowing. It's like the big banks in 2008 we can't trust the same people who broke it to also fix it.

I'm Astor West and everything that you know and have been taught about building a startup is a lie

I am launching a new series called Startup Land. In our new series, we'll get to the bottom of startup issues and set the record straight. 

I'm going to prove that to build a successful startup you must.

Go slow to go fast

Build small to go big

And build scale in

Our goal is to curate the best most "actionable" information on how to navigate the current startup ecosystem, organic methods we've used to build and be resilient even in the worst of times with very little resources, and how to build a community of founders and trusted advisors that will actually help you through the tough spots. 

We'll teach you the practical things like choosing a business model, the right business structure, and how to navigate the tricky tax stuff to writing simple requirements that tech professionals can read, and how to compose generative AI prompts that bridge the technical gap, build products that scale, and get your ideas to market faster. 

And last but not least we'll teach you how to hire the right technical, marketing, legal, and support professionals and do it on a fractional basis so that you can have that rockstar team without breaking the bank. 

Let's face it while there's no magical solution to entrepreneurship, regardless of automation and tools, building a successful venture will remain highly technical and labor-intensive having the right knowledge, strategies, and tactics to get the most out of your tools will result in a better shot at success.

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