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Photo by Ahmed zayan on Unsplash

Founding a f*ck up

I’ve written a couple of times about my journey as a startup founder. This article focuses on the feeling of the journey, particularly when things are not going to plan.

There are thousands of blogs written about “how I made $xxx in XXminutes as a 19 year old founder”. But there often seems to be a lack of content on how being a founder is sometimes, f**king horrible. To date, there are only a few things I’ve found that come close to describing it:

The Beginning

So you’re building a startup. You’ve said it out loud to hundreds of people, posted it on social media, emailed investors, written a deck, hacked an MVP.

The Middle

The first pivot. It’s not that the plan isn’t working.It’s that the plan would work a lot better if it was… different. You push confidence out of your eyes, dark blue laser light bathes the office. Everyone is convinced. This is right.

The Wobble

There’s a small bit of it on the edge of the bowl. You knew it was coming. So you had time to prepare. In fact, it’s been building for weeks. You could say, that this vomit, was a lifetime in the making.

Not the End

Cutting people is probably harder on your ego than them. You are no longer a “good person”. Everyone is released to go do things in “proper” businesses. As they go, you feel the difference.

The bit after it wasn’t the end

The second wind dies down and the sails slacken to an even pace. Work is done. You feel good when it is. But this is not a sprint, it’s the marathon. Pick up feet, put down feet, enjoy the feeling.

The actual end

The weariness of being “where the buck stops” takes it’s toll. The buck has stopped with an exhale. Not a sad one. But one of resignation. Maths is math. The runway is the runway. It’s almost relieving to let it go.

I love startups, strategy and human centred design. 10 years building smart teams to solve tough problems. Lots of scars and great stories! Based in Berlin.

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