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Bryan Trussel at the Get a Real Job Fair

I’ve seen a lot of entrepreneurs over the years talk about what it’s like to create a startup, explaining in detail the excitement, fear and, sometimes, lonely journey that makes up the startup voyage.

But I’ve never seen all of those emotions summarized so well as Glympse co-founder Bryan Trussel did last night at the Get a Real Job Fair. In just nine short minutes, Trussel laid out the good, the bad and the ugly about startups.

What did I like so much about the talk? He started with the bad and the ugly.

Trussel debunked a lot of myths — like it’s easy to raise money or to strike it rich or that it’s a great lifestyle. (While startup folks often tout the ability to control their own schedule, Trussel joked that you can pretty much pick whatever 72 hours each week you’d like to work).

trussle-adFurthermore, the elements that make up a “brilliant startup” — finding a new market or developing a cutting-edge product — also are the aspects of a “stupid idea,” he said.

“It is very hard to tell the difference between a great startup and a poor startup, in the beginning,” he said. “You have to have the motivation and perseverance to follow through on that.”

He then used the amazing voyage of Ernest Shackleton as a metaphor for startups, showing the classified ad that the British Explorer used to recruit shipmates.


Trussel said that 3,000 people replied to that newspaper ad.

“I think that’s an element of a startup. There’s a certain element of wanting to seize life; to live on the edge; walk a tightrope without a net; want to be around people who want to be challenged and be high-risk and high-impact and do stuff.”

Here are Trussel’s remarks (and apologies for the short interruption in minute three).

Previously on GeekWire: A giant sucking sound: Seattle startup CEOs say Amazon is sucking up all of the tech talent in the city

Follow us on Twitter @GeekWire. Editor’s note: GeekWire was a media sponsor of the Get a Real Job Fair. 

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