Ode to the Founder

Here’s to you, Mr. and Ms. Founder.

Your commitment to all-nighters, until you realize that you get more done when you sleep eight hours — when it’s dark outside.

The 150 personalized emails that you labored over for nearly a week, only to get 5 responses.

The moment you realize that you can’t hire a legitimate developer because your product was built on Ruby on Rails.

The extra hosting costs you endured to make sure your site wouldn’t crash from your first piece of press, only to find out you topped out at 300 uniques and two signups.

The endless amout of time you spent researching your market, finding every silver lining for the pitch deck that you never actually get through in a meeting.

The blog post you spent 4 hours writing, certain it would make page one of Hacker News, but died in the first 10 minutes.

The pitch you rehearsed religously for two weeks straight, only to fuck it up within the first minute. 

The time you left an investor meeting thinking that it was a done deal, only to find out later in an email that, “they really like you, but you’re not part of their current thesis”.

The time you rent your first office and you learn it’s not as affordable as you thought because of CAM. And you say, “What the fuck is CAM?”

The time you see the first wire from an investor in your bank account and get really excited, followed closely by, “Oh shit, what I have done?”.

The proclamation you make to not read your email as soon as you wake up. Two days later your back to your old ways.

The sense of security you feel after your first month with your attorney, only to question whether you actually need an attorney once you see the first bill.

The time you send your monthly investor update and spend an hour trying to come up with positive shit to say.

The feeling on one day that there’s nothing you’d rather be doing and the very next day that you’d rather burn your eyes with a blow torch.

The moment you realize that you should have never hired your friend.

The day you see the line at the coffee shop and wonder why you got into tech instead of a mom and pop, that actually has customers and revenue.

The day when you let one of the haters actually make you question whether you’re worthy of what you’re doing.

The time you realize that you’re the luckiest person on the planet, because you’re a fuckin’ entrepreneur.

Grab a Bud Light, Mr. and Ms. Founder. This one is for the shit we go through. 

  • Those nights when you’re up at 230AM reading Startups Anonymous because there are actually people on here who can relate to what you’re going through.

  • I really start wondering what all this is for. Most angels never earn back their money. Most startups shut down, most founders fail and never get hired for a regular job, most products never see the light of day.

    Glory, independence, calling the shots, bragging rights for being a founder, not needing to apply somewhere or taking directions — really, this is all better in spite of almost certain failure?

    • I sort of look at it like professional sports. For instance, of the millions of American boys who play football; many don’t make their high school football team. Of those, few make it on a college squad. Of those, fewer than 10% make it to the NFL.

      Just because the journey is difficult and you have a small chance of making it, doesn’t mean that it’s impossible or that you should give up. If entrepreneurship was easy, everyone would do it.

    • Only a few make gazillions, but there are a few who build healthy businesses who can sustain them for a long time

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