Doing anything worthwhile can’t be done alone

how it took me too long to discover that you can’t change the world on your own


I was young and arrogant once. I thought I could win the war alone; that’s until they flanked me from the side with paintball guns.

Say you are an exceedingly talented developer and can take home about $200k by freelancing. “Well, that’s great!” you would say, and I would agree. Yet, is it not a missed opportunity? Talent can spot talent and knows how to motivate one.

What if you were to find 5 talented engineers and designers and provide them what most people are looking for — job security and a regular paycheque. Maybe they are slightly less skilled than you are, and that’s fine. Each contributing $150k would make a grand total of $750k. That leaves you $250k after wages.

On the Savannah, being a single hyena is not a good predisposition; there’s only so much you can hunt and savage. A few critters here and there perhaps, a rather monotonous diet if you ask me. A pack of hyenas, on the other hand, can take down an elephant and scare away lions.

Worthwhile things can not be achieved alone. Unless you’re willing to walk a very lonely path, or are content picking the slightly blemished apples from the ground, and there’s nothing wrong with that. As a little chubby boy I’d fucking hate the apple tree. The sweetest and juiciest apples where up top — too high for me to reach. Thank god I had a good friend, Carlos, who was willing to give me a leg up.

There’s a reason why Y-Combinator rarely accepts single founder teams. One person lacks the capacity to build a company, and yes, there are bloody exceptions, especially with SaaS. One person might be able to build the product given enough time, but there’s more to company than just the product: support, sales and accounting to name a few.

Building a business is a marathon. It takes persistance. You can’t keep a race car in the same gear and redline it for the whole race — you will blow a gasket! Maybe you are built of steel and marmalade and you can juggle everything for a while but it won’t be pretty when it comes crashing down.

March quick.
Tread lightly.
Don’t lose sight for even a second.
For fear that you may loose the
war inside your heart.

Kaila Cogan, 2012

The greatest moments are those when you’re faced with another dilemma and you literally have no idea how to go on, and then somebody on your team goes, “Oh, I’ve done that before” or “My good pal Jamie runs a little company that does this”. Those moments are like typing in cheat codes, no?

So instead of learning another programming language maybe go out and meet some people.