One of the most pervasive myths of startup life is that it has to be all consuming. That unless you can give your business all your thoughts and hours, you don’t deserve success. You are unworthy of the startup call.
This myth neatly identifies those fit for mission: Young, without obligations, and few if any extra-curricular interests. The perfect cannon fodder for 10:1 VC long shots. They’re also easier to rile up with tales of milk and honey at the end of the rainbow, or the modern equivalents, “compressing your working life into a few years” and “billon-dollar waves”.
But running your life in perpetual crunch mode until the buy-out or bullshit-IPO fairy stops by your door is not surprisingly unappealing to lots of people.
The problem is that most “exciting new company” lore is intermingled with that of Startup Culture™. This means it’s hard to find your identity when it doesn’t match the latest company write-up of How Those Crazy Kids Turned VC Millions Into Billions!!!
Most people will look at that and say that’s not me. I don’t have 110% to give. I have a family, I have a mortgage, I have other interests. Where’s my place in the startup world if all I have to give is 60%? What can putting in part-time give?
DHH wrote this five years ago and just republished it. It’s a worthwhile read for anyone starting up something.