When Will Your Startup Get Easier?

Do you find yourself asking yourself this question about your startup?

You have heard all the stories and read all the articles that support the fact that starting a company has never been easier. Startup gurus point to the typical getting started hurdles such as:

  • Capital – Kickstarter, Investment meetups in every city, networking tips to connect you to those who invest are but a few of the avenues available to you but 20 years ago were hidden behind doors,
  • Tech Talent – offshore inexpensive developers, code yourself platforms that create simple but testable versions of your idea, and local code school students itching to work on real projects are a few outlets,
  • Customers – the Internet connects us almost immediately with target customers through email lists, meetups, Facebook ads and many many more vehicles, all on the cheap where years ago an expensive sales staff was needed.

So, it is easy to get started you surmise. But then you jump in and you have never worked so hard in your life. You find out that there are literally a hundred small decisions to make and prioritize. You come to realize that all of those easy-to-find assets mentioned above are actually hard to work with and take an inordinate amount of time to minimally master.

About this time, you realize that you need more people but can’t pay anyone to you take on some less experienced people, promise something in return (equity, deferred cash, a fix up with your sister) and you start to make some progress . . . for awhile. But then they move on to something else as they were never really super motivated to work on your idea anyway.

About now, you start thinking that you are much closer to getting this thing going, if only you had some capital to hire real employees, so you start talking to investors up and down the stack. This means your Uncle Joe, as well as his friend the successful doctor as well as some local angels that you got introduced to at that meetup you went to a few weeks back. You might have even talked to a few professional investors and the list grows.

Inside your head, you then make a deal with your inner devil that goes like this; keep pushing, as soon as you get through this your startup will get easier.

Ask anyone who has done this at least 2x and who I will now characterize as an expert one question – when will this get easier?

The honest answer from anyone who has done this multiple times or is at least 1-2 years into their current startup business will be 100% consistent. It never gets easier.

Speaker, investor, mentor, startup founder. One of 3 or 4 Co-Founders of MapQuest (sold to AOL for $1.2B). Managing Director of $25M Venture Fund in late 90's. CEO, COO or President of various companies ranging from $200k to $20M in size. One of two Managing Directors of The Startup Factory (35 investments across 7 cohorts), founder and MC of the Big Top Reverse Job Fair and national writer and speaker waxing poetic around startups and startup communities. Currently EIR @ Techstars with Brad Feld ~ Startup Communities, to help community leaders around the world grow their startup community.

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