building a company is incredibly hard. so hard, that it often drives some of the smartest and most capable people i know mad, because in the spur of the moment they dont understand what is wrong with them that they are still ‘unsucessful’. truth is, they are pretty sucessful comparatevily, and they are doing all the right things, but building a company is just hard.
it takes 5-9 years to build a company said eric 7 years ago. i was shocked, because i lived in a techcrunch bubble, just like 80% of young ambitious entrepreneurs i meet. i guess this bubble actually enables creation of at least half of the startups, because it fills them with optimism.
2 years later, after blind optimism wears out, all you are (hopefully) left with is groundworks for the actual future company and the burning ambition to prove everyone that you weren’t wrong. in reality, if you survived 2 years, that probably means you have a team or some market validation or some traction, or some angels, or some advisors, or any combination of them, and you are actually light years ahead of where you’ve been. but it still feels dissapointing.
dissapointments is a function of expectation often said my brother and our first ceo ales. and he was right, entrepreneur must at some point in time suspend her expectations and face the reality – your company will be something else than what you imagined on that cocktail night, but it’s going to be real, and shaped by thousands of interations of other people with it, where you are merely a sheppard. observe, react, nudge, endure.
if the only thing that’s missing is ‘success’, you’re probably on the right track. forget your ego and enjoy and learn.