Starting up, Thoughts

There are two kinds of people – founders and everyone else

Last week I needed a cab and didn’t have cash with me. So naturally, I asked the taxi driver if she accepts payments by card.

Usually if I get a ‘no’, the driver will not take me – but not this driver.

She said, “I will bring you to an ATM. I want to earn your trip.”

Immediately she piqued my curiosity. All the drivers I’ve come across chose to miss out on the potential earning from an additional trip over convenience. It’s the first time I hear a taxi driver says, “I want to earn your trip”.

I knew she was of a different breed.

So I started making small talks, hoping to find out more about her. When I finally got around to ask what she was doing prior to driving a taxi, she told me she did “office work”.

It was only until I told her that I am an entrepreneur that she eased up and confessed…

She used to be an entrepreneur.


From my other observations, I’m starting to agree that founders are really different from everyone else.

I recently had a couple of meetings where I shared that Learnemy, at its current stage, is a long way from being a million dollar business.

Here are two responses I’ve got:

“You need to rethink about Learnemy. You are a university graduate and you are missing out $2k – $3k of salary every month.”

“You need to rethink about Learnemy. You are not going to make millions out of this business.”

(Note: Reponses are obviously paraphrased and not the actual words.)

Managers at SPRING made the first response. Boyd Au made the second.

Both responses are made with my interests in mind. Both responses suggested I do the same thing. But the mentality behind each of the responses can’t be more different from the other.


Elisha Tan is the Founder of TechLadies. TechLadies is a community for women in Asia to connect, learn, and advance as programmers in the tech industry. Elisha is also the Developer Programs Regional Lead for Asia Pacific at Facebook.


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