The 5-Part Candle Fire Theory of Startups

1) The Spark

Startups are like a fire on top on of a candle light. They begin with a spark of an idea.

In this first stage, the fire shines brightly. It dominates the mind of the holder. It’s everything to them. They can’t stop thinking about it. They have total conviction that this idea that has caught fire in their hearts will change everything.

Every start up begins with an idea.

2) All Consuming

A startup idea is all consuming. Just like a fire will melt the candle wax, a startup idea will take everything from the holder. It will be their mornings, their evenings, and everything in between. It becomes a part of who they are.

Startups take everything you have. Money, time, resources…all of which you may never get back.

3) Finite

A flame will eat away the candle wax. It will eat every inch until there’s nothing left.

Every startup has a runway. Whether that means how much money you have in the bank or how much emotional endurance you have. Either way, both will run out eventually.

4) Shining With Someone Else

Candles are more powerful when there’s more than one. Most successful startups have multiple co-founders. They must. A person can only go so long while being fueled by their own ideas and aspirations. For those nights, where the fire burns ever so slightly, a candle will need help of another one to be ignited again.

Founders need co-founders. Someone to lift them up when everything else seems grim.

5) An Alternative Fuel Source

A candle can only go so long before it can shine no more. Once the flame reaches the end of the candle wax, only two things can happen. The fire can die…or it can live on.

The only way to extend the life of a startup is to get traction. Users, customers, revenue…something that fuels the fire. Without this fuel, a startup will surely die.

Summary

  1. Every start up begins with an idea.
  2. Startups take everything you have. Money, time, resources…all of which you may never get back.
  3. Every startup has a runway. Whether that means how much money you have in the bank or how much emotional endurance you have. Either way, both will run out eventually.
  4. Founders need co-founders. Someone to lift them up when everything else seems grim.
  5. The only way to extend the life of a startup is to get traction. Users, customers, revenue…something that fuels the fire. Without this fuel, a startup will surely die.

The Takeaway

That last point is especially important. Companies that are able to get sustainable growth as quickly as possible are the ones that last the longest. So find your traction and shine brightly.

-Ish

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