will be
your second exit.”
I remarked.

“What will you do
next?” I asked.

I want to live
my own life.” answered
the founder.

“Whose life
have you been living?”
I asked.

“The investors’.”
he answered
without hesitation.

Preemptive Blaming

“They’re going to be quick
to blame me.”
said the founder,
of the employees’ backlash.

“How would it be different,
if you were quicker?”
I asked.

“What do you mean?”
he asked.

“How would it be different,
if you were even quicker
than them?”
I asked again,
with emphasis.

he asked.

I sat there,

“You mean if I were to blame myself
before they did?”

I waited.

Silence ensued.

“… You’re talking about
taking responsibility.”
The reply came back,

Life’s Work

When we lose
our startup.

Many stories

is that we
have failed.

At what exactly?

Just because
that company
was not the company
with which you achieved
what you wanted to achieve,
it doesn’t mean
there will be no other company
with which
to do so.

The loss of your startup
does not equal
the loss
of your life’s work.

In fact,
it may equal
the gain
of the knowledge required
to do your life’s work.

The question may be
your life’s work
and are you willing
to continue

Trade vs Business

One dictionary says,
is “the practice
of making one’s living
by engaging in commerce.”

The same dictionary says
is “the action
of buying and selling
goods and services.”

When we first found our companies,
we tend to do business,
because we want
to make our living.

But after a while,
there often comes a point
where we forget to inquire
into the meaning and value
of living,
as we stop doing business
and start trading,
in pursuit of an image
of life.

Founder Energy Drain

Before founding a company,
it rarely occurs to us
that the thing that will drain so much our energy
will not be the lack of ideas,
or the lack of funding,
but rather the lack of support we feel
from those whom we most expect or desire support.

The paradox is this.

Often times,
these people are doing their best to support.

What’s worse?

They don’t feel appreciated for their support.

In such cases,
the misunderstanding lies
in the misalignment between their intent to support
and the impact of said support.

Until we can empathize with their intention,
and they with their impact on us,
we’ll be left feeling unsupported,
and they feeling unappreciated.