No, it’s not about a massive failure. Or a sudden interest from several investors.
From what I have seen and experienced, most of the first-time founders are never prepared for a sudden success moment (and everything that comes with it).
For founders, overnight success takes few years and that means one doesn’t really knows when he/she is successful. But for the world, the perspective is different. They look at the new new founder as ‘an overnight success’; a rock start; somebody who is playing a key role in their life and has suddenly made it to headlines of news channels/media etc.
This is what happened to Minecraft maker, Mojang’s founder (the company was acquired by Microsoft for $2.5Bn) who decided to leave the company and do things which are ‘small’. If at all any of his experiments turn big, he will abandon it.
I don’t see myself as a real game developer. I make games because it’s fun, and because I love games and I love to program, but I don’t make games with the intention of them becoming huge hits, and I don’t try to change the world. Minecraft certainly became a huge hit, and people are telling me it’s changed games. I never meant for it to do either. It’s certainly flattering, and to gradually get thrust into some kind of public spotlight is interesting.
..I’ve become a symbol. I don’t want to be a symbol, responsible for something huge that I don’t understand, that I don’t want to work on, that keeps coming back to me. I’m not an entrepreneur. I’m not a CEO. I’m a nerdy computer programmer who likes to have opinions on Twitter.
As soon as this deal is finalized, I will leave Mojang and go back to doing Ludum Dares and small web experiments. If I ever accidentally make something that seems to gain traction, I’ll probably abandon it immediately. [blog]
And this is precisely what happens to several founders who were caught in the middle of experiments, tinkering with products – for e.g. Bookpad founders who were left with a bit of shock of the acquisition news going public, or Flipkart team fighting comments.
The ‘about to be massively successful’ founders somehow need to know that the world owes them and their creation. The founders have played a key role in enriching other’s lives and for good or weird reason, the world truly believes that founders are answerable to them and they (the world/users/customers) have played a key role in success of the founders.
In short, you are suddenly more answerable to the world, without you knowing why! In fact, you are either a hero or a villian – and that’s the way world operates!
The world needs one (a hero as well as villian) and you, the entrepreneur is the chosen one.