This commonly cited 90% startup failure rate is actually based on a 7yr timescale (if I'm not mistaken). I remember it being an example of a common misconception in the book "The Illusions of Entrepreneurship" . Just because a small company eventually fails, it doesn't mean the investors didn't get any amount of ROI out of it.
For example: It's possible a company makes 10's of millions in revenue but fails from cash flow issues after a long-term of being operational.
So this isn't a good way to measure return potential when investing in companies. Unlike VC-style investments, not all businesses (even with $1 million capital) are billion dollar or nothing businesses.
Not everything The DAO invests in has to be 100x return to be viable (unless they want to be VCs). So this changes the math quite a bit.
According to Illusions of Entrepreneurship, most entrepreneurs are in their 40s, not 20s.
Additionally, many entrepreneurs, (I believe it said a plurality) were entrepreneurs because they didn't like or couldn't work well under a boss more than any other reason.
 Non-aff link: http://www.amazon.com/Illusions-Entrepreneurship-Costly-Entr...
Non aff link to the book (I really enjoyed it for it's real world stats on running a company and what it means for me): http://www.amazon.com/Illusions-Entrepreneurship-Costly-Entr...
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