The only thing that matters in a Startup
August 30, 2022
Startups have become very fashionable. Fortunately. And I say fortunately because startups are, from my point of view, the best way to improve the economy and the development of society.
You probably read a lot about how great it is to do a startup, how much fun it is, what it means to invent the future, how much money is being invested, all the free meals, foosball tables, networking events and beers, etc, etc, etc.
However, there are many reasons why you should NOT create a Startup. I would like to share with you, reader, the 6 main reasons why you should not embark on this incredible adventure.
Shall we start?
Entrepreneurship is about going from being on the crest of the wave convinced that you are going to own the world and that your solution is the most incredible one day, to feeling that you are only a few days away from being a dismal failure and out on the street the next day.
From feeling like the next Elon Musk to feeling completely broke.
Again and again.
There is so much uncertainty and so much risk around pretty much everything you're doing.
Will the product launch on time? Will it be fast enough? Will it have too many bugs? Will it be easy to use? Will anyone use it? Will my competitor beat me to market? Will anyone invest in my startup? What if my star programmer quits and goes to Google? And it goes on...
Some days, things will go very well, and some days, things will go very badly.
Not all of us are ready for this kind of life.
This involves both co-founders and new employees in start-ups.
As a founder, you have to implement processes, systems, routines, habits and make everyone really row the boat; forget about even rowing in the right direction: just rowing is hard enough at the beginning. Right or wrong, the important thing is to always row in the same direction.
And until you do, absolutely nothing happens.
Unless, of course, you do it yourself.
Unless you have spent time in sales, you are probably not familiar with being told no all the time.
It's not that funny.
Potential employees, potential investors, potential customers, potential partners, potential journalists.... they will all say no.
Again and again.
And when you get a "YES", half the time you will get a call two days later and it will turn out that the answer became a "NO".
Better start working on your fake smile 😅.
I would like to see you hiring a Sr. developer or a TOP VP who is key to your Startup.
Many people think they want to be part of a startup, but when the time comes to leave their cushy job at Amazon, Glovo, or BBVA, they panic and prefer to stay in their corporate job.
Don't forget that you are a startup, you can't pay them what Google or Amazon could pay them, and the % of equity you give them is worth nothing today.... "15% of nothing is nothing" is one of the typical rejection phrases I have heard so many times.
You will spend a lot of time interviewing people, selling your story and your startup to get them to join you and you will only end up hiring a tiny percentage.
After going through all that arduous process of hiring a new profile, your success rate probably won't exceed 50% and that's if you're any good at it.
By this I mean that half (or more) of the people you hire, are not going to work.. They will be too lazy, or too slow, or extremely confrontational, or bipolar or even psychotic. This is no joke.
Then you have to live with them or fire them.
Which of these profiles sounds more fun?
Creating a startup is an incredibly intense set of experiences.
And if you're looking for a work/life balance, it won't be easy when you're about to run out of money, your product hasn't been launched yet, your VC is angry with you and your competitor, who has just raised millions, is eating up your market.
Which is what is likely to happen most of the time.
Even if you intend to help your team have a work-life balance, as a founder you can hardly achieve it.
In case you're wondering, long hours at work increase stress considerably.
A co-founder and former CEO of a unicorn, after 10 years of working in his company (no small thing in the startup world) was thankful every day for SLEEP.
To people it seems normal, but to him it was crazy that he could sleep more than 6 hours.
OK, now here's the best part:
I haven't even talked about figuring out what product to build, actually building it, getting it to market and standing out from the crowd. Quite a job, eh.