When an entrepreneur wishes to quantify the likelihood of achieving a material exit ($50M+) they need to look no further than Jarryd Hayne, and his San Francisco 49ers odyssey.
There are around 1 million high school footballers in the US and only 1,700 NFL players on the pro teams 53-man rosters (a conversion rate of about 0.2%).
In Australia, over a 5 year period, around 10,000 startups are formed, of which approximately 1,000 achieve seed funding, 200-400 receive follow on funding, and around 50 successfully achieve a material exit, trade sale or IPO (a conversion rate of about 0.5%)
On being confirmed on the 49ers 53-man roster Hayne commented, “this isn’t a journey where I just woke up and wanted to be an NFL player. It’s been a long process. And with long processes comes a lot of dark days, a lot of joyful days and a lot of things that are emotional”.
I am sure a lot of successful startup founders will identify with these sentiments that there is no such thing as an overnight success.
However slim the odds of success may be, startup founders will continue to dream – and in order to succeed, work very very hard.