Incredible post. Thank you for your honesty and openness in sharing this. Your description in particular of the cycle and how it can work against you really resonated. It’s so hard to get unstuck once you’re in that loop.
My only other thought was perhaps that exploring other locations may have helped for hiring. I found hiring in my old hometown of Waterloo, Canada was far easier in terms of finding good talent that are motivated by problem solving rather than perks or raises. I have heard some folks now saying that the Bay is a great place to grow a team once you have traction, but no longer a great place to build one from scratch.
Anyway, it’s clear you were very thoughtful about how you approached building this startup. I am sure it will pay dividends in your future journeys.
Thanks again for writing this!