“Some Day I’m Going to Start My Own Company” – Douchebag

Perhaps surprisingly, there is a vibrant startup community in the insurance world. In any sales-driven industry, those who can start a business that locks in a distribution channel get rich.

In insurance, these businesses are called Managing General agents (MGAs). They are to insurers what hedge funds are to pension managers.

Anyway, the part about successful MGA owners making big money isn’t lost on many. Predictably, there’s a multitude of frustrated middle managers harboring a deep desire to put their shingle out and strike it rich.

Easier said than done, of course, but it can serve to salve a beaten down ego for a while.

Obviously, I eagerly count myself among these despondent douchebags.

Interestingly, most MGAs are only barely viable. They typically identify some market micro-segment with only enough scale to make a little money; the rest is hopes and dreams stuff that never comes true (but proven by hockey stick growth targets!). Economists would say price equals marginal cost here, and go to bed happy with the state of the world.

At scale, the insurance market is a commodity business, but at the local level it’s a relationship business. Different skills.

Those with the best view of the big picture are the corporate types and they just aren’t entrepreneur material. Too secure, too much to lose. They overthink and do things like write blogs about entrepreneurs while having started nothing at all in their lives.

The local shark is often a champion salesman but runs out of gas when he runs out of hours in the day to sell. No scale.

When lightning strikes and you get the natural entrepreneur with a solid grasp of the whole thing?

That dude gets rich.