Amazing post from David Lee
David Lee, who runs SV Angel, put up a wonderfully candid and direct post today about why he’s never started a company. He pointed to his experience of his father being an entrepreneur, and the enormously tough times his father went through.
The subtext, not so hidden, is that if you’re thinking about starting your own company, you need to make sure you’re in it for the right reasons, and are going to be able to work through, and even enjoy, the tough times.
I’ve tried to say this in my own way, too. What I say is this: “Being a founder/CEO is a crappy job. It’s lonely. People tell you you’re a knucklehead. That what you’re doing won’t work — or worse, that it doesn’t matter. Everyone complains. Nothing is ever right. Everything needs improvement. It’s brutal, and a bad job.”
Unless. And here’s the critical thing: it’s a bad job unless it’s the job you’re compelled to do. The one you can’t stop thinking about. The one you dream about. And in that case, it’s the only job that’s ever going to feel right to you, even with all the lonely, challenging, misunderstood times.
As David points out, nothing worthwhile is easy, and in the wide open world of startups trying to make a dent in the universe, there are a ton — a ton — of other amazing people competing for money or attention or anything else of value. It’s tough.
For whatever reason, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about Jeff Bezos’ quote from last year that Amazon is “willing to be misunderstood for long periods of time” — and while that’s obviously a high class problem, I think it’s what most amazing startup stories share. LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Mozilla, on and on — lots of founders and organizations who could see their future clearly, and were willing to be misunderstood for a long period of time, and took all the ups and downs along the way.
But for all that, mostly I wanted to call out that it’s a really wonderful post from David; heartfelt and personal, and one that everyone should read.