“As a matter of principle, I don’t invest in rich kids’ businesses.”
-Barbara Corcoran, Shark Tank
When it comes to millennial entrepreneurs, there are really only two kinds: the rich kids and the poor kids. It’s seen as the difference between “wantrepreneurs” and real entrepreneurs — the delusional and the disruptive. No, not every entrepreneur born with money is a bad egg, but it’s always been easier to hate on those who have more advantages than others. How much truth is behind the stereotypes?
Here are 10 of the most common arguments from rich kid haters.
1. Rich kid entrepreneurs never seem to want to do the actual work on their startups and constantly delegate tasks to other people. Poor kid entrepreneurs save money by doing whatever is needed themselves. HauteLook’s founder Adam Bernhard once said:
“There is no job too small for you to do at your company.”
2. Rich kids have rarely or never had to face actual hardship, so they don’t actually know what hard work or struggling is. For poor entrepreneurs, tough and urgent situations force them to be scrappy because success means survival — money can’t buy that opportunity.
3. Entrepreneurs with money typically feel the need to show it off, either with flashy clothes, expensive watches, luxury cars or all of the above. The look can sell, but in business, looking like success doesn’t always translate to actual success. Poor entrepreneurs believe that appearances don’t matter and that real success looks like hard work and growth numbers.
4. When a young entrepreneur is handed money from their family for nothing, they never actually develop a value for a dollar. For poor entrepreneurs, every dollar counts, but they also have a different sense of when to spend and when not to spend — generosity isn’t exactly contagious among the wealthy. Chinese billionaire Li Ka-Shing once said:
“When you are rich, don’t show off, but silently spend the money on yourself. When you are poor, you must be generous.”
5. Rich kids tend to believe money solves all problems. Poor kids can think outside the box and be more creative because there is no alternative. Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba, has said:
“A lot of entrepreneurs didn’t make it not because they don’t have money, but because they had too much money.”
An entrepreneur with no money knows how to solve the same problems the only right way they know — using their brain and grinding through the hard work themselves.
6. Poor entrepreneurs hate how entitled rich kids are. When they become entrepreneurs, their inflated egos lead them to believe they should be heard by everyone, they all think they are the next Steve Jobs, they pay no attention to the little things that really matter with customers and employees, and they have none of the humility that comes from growing up with nothing.
7. Poor kid entrepreneurs have no shame, and that is why they will be a big deal someday. It takes a ton of courage to walk up to strangers knowing they will tell you “no.” Underdog entrepreneurs like Topwick’s Fernando Campos will do anything for their startup’s success — something they believe most self-conscious and egotistic rich entrepreneurs wouldn’t.
8. Rich entrepreneurs don’t create products that actually help people. Poor kid entrepreneurs sometimes feel that posh entrepreneurs like Clinkle’s Lucas Duplan and Snapchat’s Even Spiegel create apps that don’t really solve any problems. It’s an assumption that only poor entrepreneurs are focused on cheaper energy, curing diseases and feeding the hungry around the world.
9. Other than money, entrepreneurs with rich parents also have access to the best resources. Poor entrepreneurs don’t have the premium network connections that have taken wealthy parents years to develop. Often enough, the backing of a wealthy parent is enough for investors to trust that their children will be successful.
10. No matter what, rich kids will typically end up better than poor kids ever will. Rich, young entrepreneurs will ALWAYS have something to fall back on if they fail. Even compared to the poor kids who have done everything right, studies have shown that rich kids who’ve failed miserably at life still end up better off.