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Why graduates are swapping the corporate treadmill for startup life


Elon Musk and other tech celebrities have inspired a generation of school leavers to shun corporates for world-changing startups. The co-founder of Wyrd explains why.

Well renowned high school. Undergraduate degree. Masters degree. Enter corporate law, banking or accounting graduate scheme. Stay in same job and work way to the top.

This used to be the route taken by budding graduates entering the world of employment.

But as Nigel Barton of Wyrd explains, there are more school leavers turning to entrepreneurship in search of something a little more exhilarating.

“A lot of them [school leavers] don’t want to work in a big company, or be a cog in a big machine.”

“I think [this is because] they see very young, very successful role models in the tech industry and other industries.”

There are more school leavers turning to entrepreneurship in search of something a little more exhilarating.

And you can’t blame them for wanting a slice of the action.

You only have to look as far as the self-made billionaire, programmer, and engineer Elon Musk to understand why.

Not only was he the inspiration for Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark, but he also wants to colonize Mars. Yes, Mars.

Combine the world-changing possibilities of startups, alongside lowered “barriers to entry” and you have an explanation as to the increased number of school leavers turning to entrepreneurship.

581,000 startups were born in the UK in 2014 alone. Citizens simply need to arm themselves with a laptop, Internet connection and some cloud-based services to get going.

Gone are the days of costly infrastructure, almost everyone can have access to unlimited computing power in a matter of minutes.

However, launching a new business, whether a tech startup, pop-up shop, or subsection of a larger corporation- will always be a hit-or-miss proposition.

The odds aren’t with you, as Harvard Business School’s Shikhar Ghosh shows, 75% of all startups fail.

By those calculations- 435,750 of those UK businesses either will, or already have folded.

That shouldn’t put people off though, explains Barton who believes, “there’s no stigma around failing”

“It’s okay if your first one or two things don’t work out.”

Remember, Donald Trump, Henry Ford, Richard Branson and Walt Disney all failed.