Disclaimer: I’ve worked in Silicon Valley for 1 year and decided to give a humorous approach on getting rich.
There are two paths you can take to get started on your road to riches. You can either try to get hired by the next ‘Facebookesque’ startup, take a haircut in salary, and hope that your stock options are worth something one day, or you can create your own company. If there’s a way to have an early failure, such as a firing because you’re too young or inexperienced, you’re already on the path to mega-wealth and investor funding. Bonus points go to those who get fired from a company that they created. Lots of failure = lots of success.
1. Conjure up a crazy obscure concept that no one has heard of which likely has a social network component to it
Give it a name that is a super simple name. Example: Path or Apple. Buy the domain and get the Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. You should crowd source the logo because that’s what all of the cool kids are doing. Bonus points if you put a (.) somewhere in the company name or url. Start using common words and putting “ify” on the end of them. Doing so can also help you create a company name and impress common folk. Remember, once you coin a term, you have rights to it, immediately. Example: “Jeffify.” I own it. It means to teach other people how to become millionaires.
Just say the word ‘social’ 10 times, and you’re already on your way to fat stacks of Benjamins and you have rights to it now (see above). Just assume that as you’re telling people what your concept is, you will have to name drop other successful platforms to make people believe you actually know what you’re talking about.
Example: I’ve got this great idea for a company that meets at the intersection of Facebook and Google but has the mobile simplicity of Apple and the elegance of Flipboard. As a side note, you probably should stay away from photo sharing apps because there are already 1,000,000,000,000 ways to share a photo, add a filter, tag yourself, and put a caption that makes your followers think you’re already a millionaire. You standing next to a private jet, mega yacht, or shaking hands with Oprah should do the trick.
2. Create an NDA (non-disclosure agreement)
No one else in the world could ever be smart enough to come up with the idea that just crossed your mind. You have to protect yourself so no one steals the idea and goes all “the social network” on you. Don’t worry Zuck, I have your back. Everyone you talk to about your idea is likely an engineer who could code your concept, in addition to his/her day job, so they should all sign your NDA. You just can’t be too careful. Note: if someone does end up stealing your concept, you should A) cry about it, B) take them to court, C) think about the millions lost, because naturally, that was the only good idea you’ll ever have.
3. Create a pitch deck and contact investors
Because you like to ‘think different,’ you probably bought a Mac and put the program keynote on it. You assume that you’re a Steve Jobs presenter now, which is exactly the kind of arrogance you need to make it. The most important piece of this slide deck is that you have one slide that includes the target market you need to obtain to make millions, which is likely 0.01% of 1%. Remember to put the numbers in a big font that no one has ever seen, so that they are impressed by the font and expect that the enormity of the font is equivalent to your success. Don’t write down any competitors because your concept is completely original, of course. Now that you’ve finished reading this, you know what it takes to become a millionaire. It’s as simple as that.
After your first investment, it’s all downhill from there. You might want to put in at least 15 hours a day until you make it though, hire some people as crazy as you are, speak at some relevant conferences, and start a ‘thought leadership’ blog. Don’t worry about telling people how hard you work since the press will always be sure to cover your greatest successes. If you fail, which isn’t possible because you told the world you couldn’t, no one will write about it because you will just be another one of the startups that didn’t make it. Don’t worry though, if that’s the case. Remember, lots of failure = lots of success = Millionaire.