Monday, December 15, 2014

most and least supportive people

As a startup founder, your own morale is an important resource.  So it's smart to be careful who you spend your time with.

I've discovered that the most supportive people are founders of successful companies.  They know that it takes courage and getting 1000 details correct in order to build a good product from scratch, so they respect what you are doing.  They have the visionary foresight to look at your lumpy product and see flashes of diamond inside.

The least supportive people I've encountered are a subset of founders of startups that are still finding their way.  They will say things like "you should try doing X, and if that doesn't take off within a few days, then maybe just shut down the company".  What on earth -- why wouldn't you iterate instead of giving up the very first instant!  Perhaps they wish they had stayed at a comfortable job instead of starting their company, so they are projecting onto others.

The second-least supportive people are a subset of employees who joined a large company after it already became a behemoth.  They weren't around for the "ugly duckling" part of their company, so they never saw firsthand how all products start out from humble beginnings.  They look at your fledgling product, and it looks so puny compared to the honed product they work on, which has been polished over the years.  They can't imagine one turning into the other.

Founders of successful companies are the busiest people, but they are often the most helpful.


  1. "The second-least supportive people are employees who joined a large company after it already became a behemoth." - you could also say that employees in general will often be un-supportive. That's one of the prime differences between a founder and an employee - you will often need to shield things from employees, as if they knew the true situation, they'd likely freak out. You need to absorb a lot of the stress on behalf of your team and shield them from that.

  2. I, for one, am pretty sure you're going to take over the world.

  3. Interesting to note that this post was just below yours in my feed:

    You might find it interesting.

  4. Well put thoughts @Niniane. I totally agree to it. But as a startup founder you spend life of a loner juggling with multiple things at the same time. You may or may not have support and a lot of things cannot be discussed with anyone.
    One has to have the courage to fight all adversities to come out as a winner. Perseverance is the key to success.

  5. Evertoon is total crap

  6. I hope you can take some time off to have a nice (and hopefully peaceful) holiday with your family. Best of luck on the new project! --PH

  7. For the anonymous person that stated "Evertoon is total crap," you're neither the least supportive or second-least supportive but rather unimportant. If you just want to bash then do not comment at all.

    An art professor once told me, "It takes 100, 1,000 or even 10,000 drawings to create one masterpiece."

    Founders of successful companies that I have encountered have always given me two words: Passion and Perseverance. Continue to surround yourself with supportive people to include family and friends. Thank you for the post.


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