As a startup founder I know you hope daily that the grind will go smoother and the seasons will favour your hustle. Your dreams are probably riddled with pictures hitting the big leagues, maybe declaring for an IPO, or a steady stream of major VC money. In short, your heart and eyes are in the future.
But there’s also an argument to be made for the present. Because, as I’m going to show you, your best days are right now.
If things go according to plan, your startup won’t remain a startup. And there’s a lot you’re currently enjoying that you’re gonna lose with growth.
For one, the “me against the world feeling”.
Startups are usually the market underdogs. It’s easy to root for them. You’re going against the big boys, the Cabals (ahem), the companies with the money, connections and even the market share. They see you as the party pooper [strikethrough] disruptor. And that’s the way you like it. You can almost hear “eye of the tiger” playing whenever you walk into your office. There’s a defiant fire in your heart and this is the feeling you live for, daily.
Yeah, that’s going to disappear when you’re a “big” company. Sorry.
Another thing you’ll can say goodbye to is autonomy.
While most founders are quite passionate about their business, there’s something they lose as the company grows and that’s autonomy. One of the joys of the startup life is having a flash of genius in the middle of the night, jumping into your makeshift office and working, designing, coding, planning out the idea ready to implement the next day.
Sorry to burst your bubble but, not gonna happen when you’re a big company.
Growth means you’ll be making bigger decisions that will have even greater impact on the direction of the company, and you know what means? Meetings! Meetings meetings meetings. You’ll have them till your brain melts (then you’ll have to attend a meeting on how to fix your brain). Automatically, you’ll have less time doing the things you really enjoyed doing in your company’s early days. Smart founders delegate so the work still gets done, but you’ll probably be abandoning your first true love.
I reckon this is the reason we have serial entrepreneurs.
Finally, unless you’re the devil, you can’t ever enjoy telling people, “your services are no longer required”. It’s the worst feeling in the world. Which is why you never do when you’re a startup. You usually take your time to identify what jobs or roles are needed in the company and you hunt exhaustively till you find your “golden fleece” hire.
When you’re a big company, you might have to say goodbye to some of those guys who built the company with you.
And this is why you should enjoy your startup days, while you still can.
Photo Credit: Kognitio