My daily readings 02/19/2010

  • tags: startup, entrepreneur

    • Here’s a typical reponse:

      You haven’t seen someone’s true colors unless you’ve worked
      with them on a startup.

      The reason character is so important is that it’s tested more
      severely than in most other situations. One founder said explicitly
      that the relationship between founders was more important than
      ability:

      I would rather cofound a startup with a friend than a stranger
      with higher output. Startups are so hard and emotional that
      the bonds and emotional and social support that come with
      friendship outweigh the extra output lost.

    • Several people used that word “married.” It’s a far more intense
      relationship than you usually see between coworkers—partly because
      the stresses are so much greater, and partly because at first the
      founders are the whole company. So this relationship has to be
      built of top quality materials and carefully maintained. It’s the
      basis of everything.
    • Running a startup is not like having a
      job or being a student, because it never stops. This is so foreign
      to most people’s experience that they don’t get it till it happens.
      [1]

      I didn’t realize I would spend almost every waking moment either
      working or thinking about our startup. You enter a whole
      different way of life when it’s your company vs. working for
      someone else’s company.

    • How hard it is to keep everyone motivated during rough days or
      weeks, i.e. how low the lows can be.
    • I’m surprised by how much better it feels to be working on
      something that is challenging and creative, something I believe
      in, as opposed to the hired-gun stuff I was doing before. I
      knew it would feel better; what’s surprising is how much better.
    • But I think the reason most founders are surprised by how long it
      takes is that they’re overconfident. They think they’re going to
      be an instant success, like YouTube or Facebook. You tell them
      only 1 out of 100 successful startups has a trajectory like that,
      and they all think “we’re going to be that 1.”

      Maybe they’ll listen to one of the more successful founders:

      The top thing I didn’t understand before going into it is that
      persistence is the name of the game. For the vast majority of
      startups that become successful, it’s going to be a really
      long journey, at least 3 years and probably 5+.

    • Because we’re relaxed, it’s so much easier to have fun doing
      what we do. Gone is the awkward nervous energy fueled by the
      desperate need to not fail guiding our actions. We can concentrate
      on doing what’s best for our company, product, employees and
      customers.

      That’s why things get so much better when you hit ramen profitability.
      You can shift into a different mode of working.

    • The principle extends even into programming. There is rarely a
      single brilliant hack that ensures success:

      I learnt never to bet on any one feature or deal or anything
      to bring you success. It is never a single thing. Everything
      is just incremental and you just have to keep doing lots of
      those things until you strike something.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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