Josh (not another “thanks for sharing” comment, READ CAREFULLY),
I usually don’t comment on “startup journey” related posts written by fellow co-founders. Each of us is affected differently by this journey and I’m quite sure that 98% of us go through the same thought process you expressed at one point or another.
In that sense, you’re not bringing anything new to the table.
BUT, by presenting only one side of the story you are potentially discouraging young entrepreneurs dream big and to pursue the unicorn goal and I find that irresponsible, cowardly and upsetting.
Let me explain:
- It’s not your first rodeo (4th startup according to LinkedIn), you know the rules of the game!
You decided to go down this road knowing the playing field, the audience, the valley, the stakes, the cost, the KPI’s, the unit economics, the competition, the “what it takes”.
- You were at the valley of death, had to take a pay-cut and survived!
How much better would telling that story be, don’t you think?
How much more valuable it is for entrepreneurs to hear the ins and outs story of a startup crossing the valley of death successfully? Don’t you think?
Now, I completely agree with you that there are other ways to build a business, not everyone have to go down the “silicon valley startup mentality” road.
In fact, Gemrany is very well known for its Mittelstand businesses — technically, it describes a small or medium sized company with less than 250 employees and €50m in annual sales. In reality, it refers to a state of mind of a certain type of business. These businesses are one of the main growth engines of the German economy, and most of them never raised a dime from VC’s.
That state of mind is the one you refer to, the opposite of the “silicon valley startup mentality”.
As an entrepreneur, I would love to hear why you didn’t hit your business goals and almost ran out of money, I would love to hear how you managed this, I would love to hear actionable key learnings from a fellow co-founder and I would be very appreciative! Don’t you think that’s a story worth sharing, Josh?
As for Lemkin’s quote, I don’t necessary agree with that and I’ll tell you why:
As a startup founder, I think about my startup A LOT, I check KPI’s before going to sleep and when I wake up in the morning. BUT I don’t obsess over it and I’m not anxious about things falling apart, and that’s because I have an AMAZING team whom I TRUST! I’m not alone in this journey, if shit hits the fan I have an amazing CTO and engineering team to count on.
You may be missing a critical ingredient by not having a co-founder by your side, someone to share the burden with you, that would probably be my advise to help you move forward.
Oh and one more piece of insight…I checked out your software few months ago, I LOVE STATS AND NUMBERS….but I didn’t find a justification to signup, it just didn’t convey enough value for me.
In my startup users leave all the time, and I always ask them why, what was missing to convince them to transfer money from they bank to mine (repeatedly)…after gathering over 200 answers I have a pretty good idea about the churn in each step in the funnel and I’m working to “fix the leakage” so that my users will get more value and stay longer.
Fix your leakages Josh.
Max from Crazylister