Pissed off people start great companies.

There are undoubtedly a number of reasons why people become entrepreneurs and create startups. But I am willing to bet that the number one reason is that they are pissed off about something.

In fact, being pissed off is, I believe, the prime and most powerful motivator behind the creation of a startup. Tom Peters, co-author of In Search of Excellence agrees:

“Nearly 100 percent of innovation . . . is inspired not by ‘market analysis’ but by people who are supremely pissed off at the way things are. I happen to believe that only pissed-off people change the world, either in small ways or large ways.”

It could be the place they work. Nortel spawned numerous startups, and from the short time I worked there I’m convinced that it was because people just got tired of trying to get something done in the confines of that lumbering behemoth and just decided it would be easier to do it themselves.

Or it could be that they just saw a better way of doing something that their current employer was doing it yet were unable to convince them of a better solution. Most of you will never have heard of Fairchild Semiconductor, but you have heard of Intel because Andy Grove wasn’t happy at Fairchild. Fairchild was actually the genesis of a number of semiconductor companies.

And these companies don’t even realize the hand they have taken in creating their own competitors.

Recent accounts of an ongoing merger of two storied technology companies led me to write this post. These companies are frustrating their employees. They are making it difficult for those employees to do their jobs. They are making it difficult for customers to be comfortable with the company going forward.

And those pissed off employees are going to leave and create startups that will compete with them.Because when you are pissed off you just know that you can do things better.

Frustrated with something? Don’t waste that frustration. Start something now.

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