It is 2015, the economy is doing well. People are doing well and jobs are being created. Investors see the great potential and are willing to take bigger risks and invest in those who can find an appropriate opportunity. These are good times to be in.
Entrepreneurs who ventured out during these times faced some of the harshest competition that they could have faced. Incidentally, it was the same year that 80 startups were delivering food in the city of Bangalore and we began to be assaulted by insane traffic jams thanks to the “scaling-up” of two cab-hailing startups Ola and Uber.
It is easy for entrepreneurs to struggle through the difficulties during these times and have ‘faith’ that things will eventually work themselves out. It does not take monumental effort to imagine a world where everything is alright. After all, there are so many people around who seem to be alright. It is just a question of time.
Fast forward to 2020. It feels like you are living inside a dystopian novel. There is a global pandemic that has locked up half the population of the world, indoors. There are earthquakes, locust attacks, the likelihood of war and mass protest. Anyone of these would be enough to form the basis of the dystopian novel. We seem to have the entire buffet.
Investors are wary, unsure of themselves and their philosophies. The market cannot be predicted over the long term. Instead of growth people are talking about contraction. Every company around seems to be laying off people and every founder has a sad tale. There are very few ventures being launched by comparison and competition if at all is restricted to a few industries.
To be hopeful of the future and to have ‘faith’ that everything will be alright is not easy. It takes a unique individual to have faith and to fight through these tough times knowing no downturn has ever lasted forever.
These are the situations that separate boys and men.
It is easy to have faith when you are flowing with the river. True faith is when you believe despite the river flowing against you.
I often site the story of Steve Jobs to emphasise faith. His belief in his company and the fact that – A world with Apple was better than a world without one. Steve Jobs took over Apple at the end of 1997 and the company was at the brink of bankruptcy. No sooner had he started working on a way out, the dotcom bubble burst and the market collapsed. It takes a special person to have faith when their company is teetering at the edge of bankruptcy and the markets have collapsed.
Things are bad now. But they won’t be bad forever. They will turn around and there will be a better day. Do you have faith?