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