After some recent initial meetings with founders, I have been left wondering if they’re building a company or buying a lottery ticket. The press around $billion valuations and the public estimates of personal wealth of the founders who guide their companies to IPO is driving this worry. In my mind, these stories serve the same purpose as the MegaMillions billboards that show the size of the pot — both drive more players to enter the game. In the lottery, the publicity actually reduces the percentage of players who win and shrinks the winnings of the few who do hit the number. In startups, it encourages people to start companies for the wrong reasons and to manage them with the wrong mindset.