Q8: On developing resilience and an entrepreneurial spirit (SUSS Ministerial Forum 2019)

Q8: On developing resilience and an entrepreneurial spirit (SUSS Ministerial Forum 2019)


I think quite a number are taking the plunge – you have done so, and a fair number of others as well have also tried. It is not easy to do a start-up. You have to get everything together; you have to do everything yourself. And at the end, you may have the best idea in the world, it may turn out not to fly. Then you will just have to say sorry, it did not work, I will try again. I think that kind of start-up and possibly unsuccessful start-up, I don’t think there is any stigma or any shame attached to it, even in Singapore. First, there shouldn’t be, and secondly, as a matter of fact, I don’t think there is. Because people do these things – it doesn’t work, well okay, I abandon that idea, I try another one. Because it is very unlikely that your first good idea is going to be good enough to work. I think young people have that attitude. I would say definitely if you look at the government, when we look for people, or the party, the PAP, when I look for candidates, and I see on his CV that he has started the company and the company is no longer there, or the company is struggling, I don’t hold it against him. I ask him, what is this? Why did you do this? And if he shows that he has got the commitment, and he did believe in it, it cannot be helped that it did not work. I will take him. I do not expect to see somebody sail in and say, I started 10 companies and all of them became unicorns. Life is not like that.

Danny Hutson

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