The first months or a year of a startup is exciting, almost delusional exciting. You or you and your co-founder(s) have been working on nights and weekends to craft out your product and company vision. Maybe one or a few of you have quit your jobs and are working feverishly to get something to show. Or, you have built a prototype and showed it around to a few friends and friends-of-friends to great applause. You might have even gone public with the website or app and acquired a few customer/users.
Things are looking pretty good. It is time to break out. Now the real fun begins.
When your company morphs from a rose-colored glasses side-project to a this-is-serious company building exercise you have now entered the startup pressure cooker. The official kickoff is typically related to either quitting your job, raising some capital, or taking on obligations (space, new hires, etc.).
Everything changes now. Everyone is so serious.
You are now firmly in the startup pressure cooker. And, something almost always breaks and if you are a multi-founder team it usually is one of your co-founders. Duck, duck, goose – someone is out.