Rise of Parallel Entrepreneurs

Recently I was talking to an entrepreneur that had sold his company last year. Now, as his next act, he’s working on three new startups, simultaneously. Put simply, he’s a parallel entrepreneur.

Last week I was talking to another entrepreneur and I mentioned the parallel entrepreneur idea. Immediately, he perked up as well saying he had several ideas but things are going too well with his current company to take away any time or attention. Once the entrepreneurial itch has been scratched, and some level of success achieved, a wave of confidence emerges to take on multiple ideas.

Only, compounding scale with one product in a large market is always better than multiple products in lesser markets. Yet, it often takes time — years in many cases — to know just how good a market will or won’t be. Parallel entrepreneurship is so appealing, especially after selling a business, because successful entrepreneurs know how much luck, timing, and market selection plays in the outcome. If several of those characteristics have an uncertain element, and they do, the next logical thought is to start multiple companies at the same time. With several companies going, there’s time to see how things play out, and then double down on the winner(s) and quickly shut down the losers. Hence, parallel entrepreneurship.

For all startup communities outside a certain section of California, parallel entrepreneurship has a real opportunity to accelerate the growth of the startup community. Presumably, parallel entrepreneurship will result in more startups, more capital invested (especially if from successful entrepreneurs with a track record), and, hopefully, more positive outcomes.

Parallel entrepreneurship is on the rise and will continue to grow as more entrepreneurs have strong exits.

3 thoughts on “Rise of Parallel Entrepreneurs

  1. Hey David, Do you have success stories of parallel entrepreneurs? Knowing the amount of mental energy to create one (successful) business, I’m thinking that one person can only (successfully) launch one project at a time. Curious to hear your thoughts.

  2. Glad to see you writing about this! I’ve been having some good experiences incorporating the thoughts/theories outlined at MultipleBasketStartups.com — the benefits of multiple (parallel) ventures (multiple eggs/multiple baskets) – shared resources, economies of scale, elimination (or amortization) of learning curves, a cross-promotional network effect, etc. etc.) Anyway, I don’t want to high-jack the comments section of your post, but if you or anyone else has thoughts on my MultipleBasketStartups.com or http://www.StarterStartups.com, I’m always up for discussion, debate, etc.
    — Jeff Goldblatt, (ReThinkingStartups.com)

  3. I know for me, its the concept of the “Side Hustle”. I’ve got my Big Idea company moving along, but there’s always 2-3 other smaller irons in the fire. The goal is to create as many passive income streams as possible, so you can fund bigger and bigger projects. Also, the type of person who would be a parallel entrepreneur, people naturally gravitate to you for mentoring and coaching, and inevitably you end up involved in some of their endeavors.

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