Founders and Heroes

  • August 6, 2012
  • Scott

Derek Anderson really hits the mark with his TechCrunch article, “Founders Are Not Heroes. Let’s Get Back To Work“…

A few weeks ago a founder called me to commiserate. He told me about how his product had taken longer than expected to build, how his co-founder was gone, and how he was almost out of money. There was desperation, but more than anything he longed for pity and a shoulder to cry on. My response? “Please shut up and get back to work.”

Initially there was a trend toward glamorizing and glorifying founding startups… Culminating(?) perhaps in the movie The Social Network.  And a backlash was building – a backlash that I believe was intended to remind people that startups are hard.  But often that process of explaining that startups are hard just came across as another kind of narcissism – “see how hard my job is? my life/job/startup is so much harder than your life/job/startup” …

Frankly, no one who is running a company (or has run one) wants to hear the whining.  No one forces you to found a company – you decide to do it. And you get the lemons and the lemon-aid both.  Of course it isn’t easy but we signed up for it.  At the same time, you hate to hear people say things that imply it is easy or glamorous – because it isn’t.  Very little that is worthwhile is easy – and it only looks glamorous after founders’ companies get big enough to have marketing departments to put a nice shine on it.

Besides, so much of the hard work in building a company is done by the next 20 people who join the company after the founders…

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