How Being a Tourist in Rome is Like Creating a Startup in Chicago

April 30, 2012

I’m currently nestled uncomfortably in the middle seat of an American Airlines flight, returning home to Chicago from Rome, Italy.  Reflecting upon my trip, and desperately trying to block out the screaming baby two seats away from me, I started to realize how many parallels there are between creating a startup and being a tourist in Rome.  Sounds strange, I know. But hear me out:  

  • No fear.  Don’t be afraid of unfamiliar territory; it’s better to be lost somewhere beautiful than bored somewhere safe.
  • No regrets.  Even if you’re tired and want to go to bed, you won’t get this time back so grab another cappuccino and keep exploring.  At the end of the journey you’ll never wish you would’ve rested/slept more.
  • Reflect.  Take a moment to realize how lucky you are to be doing what most people only dream about.  Trying to visit five cities in seven days can be exhausting.  Pulling all nighters on a startup that produces more expenses than revenue can be frustrating.  But take the time to reflect about how lucky you are to be in the moment most people only experience in dreams.
  • Be an ambassador.  Create relationships with (...More)


-Brandon Hinkle/