Look at it from the perspective that the entrepreneur is the product. And one of the things that will hold you back as you build a fast growing company is how fast the entrepreneur can adapt, and deliver. The one point when you know its time for you to step down and let someone take over, is when the demands of the startup overtake the learning capability of the founders – and trust me, it happens faster than you think. Too soon, and the startup dies.
Startup as early as you can, and it doesnt have to be the thing that scales. It doesnt even have to be an differentiated idea. But it should be something that teaches you something in every step. As a student, sometimes the basic equation you are trying to learn is a way to balance revenue and cost so that you take home something.
Almost every amazing entrepreneur that you hear of, has done that at some stage – be it a Richard Branson who ran a student magazine, and was trying to balance between generating revenue and keep costs down, or a Tony Hsieh building an earth worm business growing up.
Was that the empire that they finally built? Nope. But i bet they’ll tell you that the key lessons they took home on entrepreneurship, and the style they developed over the years, all pegged on the experience they started off with.