Saturday, March 1, 2014

TECH | The Reality of Startups

This helpful (I hope) diagram for startups
 is credited to Swann Business Solutions.
I was scrolling through an email from Quora and ran into this honest appraisal of the downside of doing startups. As an intermittent serial entrepreneur I can empathize with someone who for a long time doesn't have much to show for a lot of work, until suddenly something is achieved.

The overnight sensation after years of effort. (Or... not.)

Ian Stanczyk is working on a startup in Boston and attempted to answer the question on Quora "Do people have a romanticized vision of the startup scene?" His answer is a definite yes.

Here are excerpts:
Doing a startup mostly sucks. You have to do all the shitty work no one in a big company wants to do, especially you with your fancy degree and overblown ego. You work long hours. You make shit for money. You worry about paying rent. 
Above all, it's hard emotionally. You're a failure until you're not. And it's impossible to predict when that switch will happen. Your family secretly (or not so secretly) wonders when you'll quit and go to law school. Christmas is awkward as shit. Your most often felt emotion is rejection. There's a good chance your relationship will end. Most of the time, nothing is actually happening. The exciting moments are few and far between. 
You're alone. You have nothing to rely on but your own willpower, conviction, and stubbornness. ... [But] I am very happy with the choices I've made.
What we call "progress" owes more to people like that than is generally acknowledged. It's called following your dream, but the romantic idea about that is a hike in the mountains, which is a day's work. The reality is it may take a lot longer.