Shark Jumping: Occupy Wall Street Protestors Are Not Startup Entrepreneurs

Image via Tom Watson

Anyone in the audience for Bloomberg’s live finale of TechStars last night could see that being a scrappy startup entrepreneur –someone who quits their high paying white collar job, throws caution to the wind and puts everything into building an idea– is currently a hip lifestyle choice. This is not a knock on the hard working folks from TechStars who are trying to build big companies, just a a fact. When there are multiple reality TV shows about your profession, it’s clear the world has caught a case of startup fever.

In some ways this might be a reflection of the broader economic turmoil that is roiling America. The self-motivated entrepreneur who creates something from nothing, who defies the odds and ends up building new opportunity for themselves and others, is a great role model for the millions who have been laid off from large corporations and struggling financial institutions.

But to call the protestors down at #OWS startup entrepreneurs, as Betabeat heard many times yesterday during the TechStars events and after party, muddies the definition of both. It also detracts from the real complaints being made by the masses gathered down in Zuccotti Park.  Read More