Startups are hard to keep moving forward

Being a leader of a startup — especially in any operations role — is one of the hardest things to do properly in business.

This is what it typically looks like inside the primordial soup during the early years.

  • The company is still trying to find product/market fit. You think you may have it but “think” and “know” is the same gap between “alive” and “dead”.
  • There seems to be more going wrong than right. Every early stage brings with it a bevy of new growing pains that typically emerge right after the previous problems were solved. This IS evolution and IS good but makes it feel like there is never any progress…but there is.
  • Decisions are fast, furious and frustrating. Being nimble and reactive in the early years means decisions are often made quickly and communicated poorly.
  • Process must be malleable to absorb feedback and lock in P/M fit.
  • There is no HR and morale is very hard to maintain. The work is often repetitive and stressful. This means working in a startup has a very high burnout rate for early employees.
  • Wages are low and benefits often don’t exist.

Founders and early employees are battling on all fronts as they try to figure out where the company fits in the world, how to attract and retain great people, service early customers (if you can convince them to BE a customer), keep rolling out new features and prop up company morale.

It’s an endless cycle and it lasts, in various stages, for years.