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Lots of startups are obsessed with the idea of raising money and chasing an idea that seems interesting…they’re “revolutionizing an industry”. That sounds great at first but when you stop and think about it that means the industry doesn’t exist or at least the business model for that industry doesn’t exist…or it’s a shitty idea to start with, so they’re not actually revolutionizing anything anyways. That’s playing craps. All or nothing with barely any rules and no control over the odds. Sometimes the startup will crush but more often than not the house wins.

Poker is different. Most importantly, you pay the house their cut to stay out of the game entirely. Unlike craps, blackjack and any other casino game where the house is designed to win in the long run, you have even odds with everyone at the table. The difference is skill and waiting for your moment. You have full control over the battles you pick, who you pick them against, and how you play your hand, the table’s hand, and their hand.

In startups, especially your first startup, play poker not craps. Don’t put your savings into a crapshoot.