There’s a lot written about the importance of the resiliency of startup founders. I don’t like to write blog posts unless I can contribute something unique to the topic, so when I first heard the people on this podcast talk about resiliency, I was expecting the same old same old with nothing much blog-worthy here. But about five minutes into this section there are some great examples of what it really means to be resilient in the early days of a startup.
The founder begins by highlighting the importance of storytelling (to employees, investors, users, etc). Often the story that you tell as a founder doesn’t materialize after re-stating your story over and over again. And as you change the story you begin to doubt yourself. And your confidence is what matters most to your startup’s success.
Another very interesting nugget from this podcast is that the pressures of a failing startup and a succeeding startup are about the same. I’ve felt this myself and agree about this counterintuitive dynamic. Earlier in my career I use to wonder why the founder of a successful startup was worried about anything. I now realize that regardless of the trajectory of a startup, the pressure is always present and at a high level.
Finally, this lesson highlights the fact that failures are just as important as successes for startup founders. In the big startups hubs around the country failures are celebrated because of their ability to teach lessons that can't be learned any other way. This is why I wrote my blog bio this way.
In this podcast, a very successful startup founder describes how things went from “bad” to “really bad” in one of his startups. Start at minute 18:22, but the real meat of this lesson is about five minutes later.
Get Right to the Lesson
I’d recommend listening to the entire thing, but to get right to the point go to minute 18:22 of this podcast
Thanks to these folks for helping us all learn faster
Stewart Butterfield (@stewart), CEO & Co-founder of Slack (@SlackHQ)
Stanford University (@Stanford)
Stanford ECorner (@ECorner)
Please let me and others know what you think about this topic
Email me privately at firstname.lastname@example.org or let's discuss publicly at @davempayne.
Real Founder Lessons
The best startup advice from experienced founders...one real-world lesson at a time.