Sean Parker: Too Many Entrepreneurs Are Doomed To Either Become One-Hit Wonders Or VCs

Sean Parker Shawn Fanning Airtime

Sean Parker recently launched a startup, Airtime, with his Napster cofounder Shawn Fanning.

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Until recently, he wasn’t sure he wanted to start another company. When you’ve had a mega success as an entrepreneur, like Parker did with Napster, it’s hard to produce something that won’t be a let down.

“The expectation thing definitely weighs on me,” Parker tells Dealbook. “There’s a sort of fear of launching something and failing,”

Parker thinks that’s why so many entrepreneurs either become one-hit wonders or venture capitalists. Both, he says, are cop-outs.

If you go the VC route, you’re really just sitting on the sidelines, says Parker. “You have a whole portfolio, you only focus on your successes, you ignore your failures and you get to continue looking like a player, but you’re ultimately not in control of anything,” Parker says.

Parker himself is an active investor through Peter Thiel’s Founder Fund. “Every good entrepreneur I know ends up in the wasteland of being a venture capitalist. It’s really frustrating,” he says.

Many other entrepreneurs are simply too scared or mentally drained to try again.

“How can you as an entrepreneur that’s had success, has a reputation, ever build the courage to go and do something again?” he says. “Most entrepreneurs don’t remain entrepreneurs. It’s just too psychologically draining to have to constantly start over.”

For more about Airtime and Sean Parker, check out this extensive interview >

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