What I Told My Investor Friend Who Hates Startups Now

Somehow this turned into capitalism versus socialism

Joe Procopio
4 min readMar 23, 2023
image by master1305

The Silicon Valley Bank collapse was likely the last nail in the coffin for one of my investor friends. He’s had it with startups — even down on the concept of business in general.

I think he’s going socialist. Maybe.

The problem is… some of what he says makes a lot of sense. In a certain light.

Look, I struggle with some of the concepts of capitalism myself sometimes, probably no more or less than anyone who doesn’t define themselves by the opinions of their largest shareholders. But those people are few and far between — dyed-in-the-wool career-ladder-enthusiasts at large corporations who look at business like a game to be played and won, rather than a system to achieve synergistic results with aggregated talent working on great ideas.

For the record, I subscribe to the latter definition.

But the former is real. Some people play business like a game. To their detriment. And everyone else’s.

Literally — an organization I won’t say how I’m familiar with spent a couple years laboring under a mission statement that translated gently to “Play to Win.” I believe that single choice for a statement fostered the exact…



Joe Procopio

I'm a multi-exit, multi-failure entrepreneur. NLG pioneer. Building TeachingStartup.com & GROWERS. Write at Inc.com and BuiltIn.com. More at joeprocopio.com