Building Your First Startup at 20

Building Your First Startup at 20
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Are you 20 years old and thinking of building a startup? Don't. Go be a small role in a big company in the same industry as your idea. This is why.

The best years of your life are the years that you are free from your parents figuring out what you enjoy doing. At 20, 21, and 22 your brain is still maturing and you are beginning your foundational belief system.

What do you like doing? What would you rather be doing? Who are you going to hang out with? Who do you want to spend the rest of your life with?

All of these questions are at your disposal if you work for a big company. You can work 9-5 and spend the other 16 hours of your day figuring yourself out.

However, if you build your own startup - you can only do one thing.


Surviving When Building A Startup

While your friends are out at dinner and dating - you need to be in front of a computer hacking away to be sure you can afford tomorrows dinner.

You will be stressed, irritated and deflated. You spent the first 20 years of your life under your parents umbrella not needing to figure out life - and now you consciously accelerated life's stresses to one moment when you need to figure it out now. Completely self inflicted.

Instead. Pace yourself. Find a company that allows you to do one very small thing - and do that thing well. Follow procedures and listen to your boss. Be a good person everyone wants to work with.

If you want to be a developer - code the customer support widget for Microsoft Windows 11.

If you want to be a designer. Design the heart icon people use at Airbnb for "like"

Build your resume, meet cool people, travel and be a kid. It is the only time in your life that you will have money and no responsibilities. No kids - no partner - and a bit of disposable cash.

Still Build Your Startup Dream Product

Just work on your free time at your own pace on a problem you are passionate in solving. Who cares if it takes 1 month or 1 year - its a side gig. You're getting paid to work 9-5 and spending your extra time building a legacy. Take your time and learn - every day.

Make commitments to yourself that tomorrow you will learn one thing new and utilize it on your side gig. Before you know it - your side gig will be kinda - sorta - almost ready for customers.

Launch Your Startup On The Side

Work a little bit more at night, focus a little more of your time during the day. Sneak out for longer bathroom breaks and take meetings in your car while working the 9-5.

Set A Goal

If side gig $ = x.

Quit Day Job.

Complete all the work you are asked to do in your day job. Complete it in the first 4 hours of the day and turn it in throughout the rest of the day periodically.

Your output for those 4 hours should surpass your next ranking peer when they work for 8 hours because your so committed to your goal.

After a year of this you will get promoted.


Inside you know that you are putting in half time - but your mind is so focused your boss still witnesses great results for your 4 hours. Your solving problems, thinking clearly, and completing work on time.

After the second year - your side gig should start to see a bit of revenue. Breath in and get prepared for the next few months.

Then, the day will arrive that x happens.

Celebrate accordingly.


Are you interested in building a mobile or web app digital venture?

If so, follow @andrewamann on Twitter or find all my articles on

I am writing about 20 ways to build your digital venture the right way in 90 days.


Don't start a startup at 20.

Join a big company.

Learn, party, live.

Build your gig on the side.

Set A Goal.

Launch Side Gig.

Get Promoted.

Quit Day Job.

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