background preloader

Startups Don’t Die, They Commit Suicide

Startups Don’t Die, They Commit Suicide
Justin Kan is the founder of Justin.tv and Socialcam. You can follow him on Twitter here and read his blog here. Startups die in many ways, but in the past couple of years I’ve noticed that the most common cause of death is what I call “Startup Suicide”, a phenomenon in which a startup’s founders and its management kill the company while it’s still very much breathing. Long before startups get to the point of delinquent electricity bills or serious payroll cuts, they implode. The people in them give up and move on to do other things, or they realize that startups are hard and can cause a massive amount of mental and physical exhaustion — or the founders get jobs at other companies, go back to school, or simply move out of the valley and disappear. I’ll let you in on a dirty little secret: while building and iterating on Justin.tv (long before launching Socialcam), there were many times I came to the brink of packing it up and moving on from the company that bears my name.

http://techcrunch.com/2011/06/27/startups-don%e2%80%99t-die-they-commit-suicide/#f3a58c5815a566

Related:  Leadership

Why We Prefer Founding CEOs You’re just a rent-a-rapper, your rhymes are minute-maidI’ll be here when it fade to watch you flip like a renegade”—Rakim, Follow The Leader When my partner Marc wrote his post describing our firm, the most controversial component of our investment strategy was our preference for founding CEOs. The conventional wisdom says a startup CEO should make way for a professional CEO once the company has achieved product-market fit. Kevin Rose's Tips Kevin Rose, Digg's founder, spoke this week at Webstock in Wellington, New Zealand and covered 10 amazing tips for entrepreneurs. They were truly insightful - and obviously came straight from the heart and soul of someone who worked a day job and built his dream after hours.

No more webpages? Every time Facebook changes its interface, an outcry erupts in my News Feed. Without fail, my network transforms into a village and Mark Zuckerberg is our Frankenstein. Minor tweaks send us into an outrage, and we want Facebook’s head on a platter for our momentary confusion. But then a few days pass, and instead of anger, we see adaptation. The voices of dissent subside and we’re back to business as usual. The myth of the overnight success tech Angry Birds was Rovio’s 52nd game. They spent eight years and almost went bankrupt before finally creating their massive hit.

The 18 Mistakes That Kill Startups October 2006 In the Q & A period after a recent talk, someone asked what made startups fail. After standing there gaping for a few seconds I realized this was kind of a trick question. It's equivalent to asking how to make a startup succeed—if you avoid every cause of failure, you succeed—and that's too big a question to answer on the fly. Afterwards I realized it could be helpful to look at the problem from this direction. If you have a list of all the things you shouldn't do, you can turn that into a recipe for succeeding just by negating. What’s The Most Difficult CEO Skill? Managing Your Own Psychology. “It’s fucked up when your mind’s playin’ tricks on ya” —The Geto Boys By far the most difficult skill for me to learn as CEO was the ability to manage my own psychology. Organizational design, process design, metrics, hiring and firing were all relatively straightforward skills to master compared to keeping my mind in check.

Hard work This is our third guest post written by a London-based VC. To allow them to speak plainly without jeopardising their fund or their career in the small village that is the London VC scene, I’m allowing them to post anonymously. FYI, LondonVC is a genuine VC and TechCrunch Europe has met them face to face. One of the biggest challenges for any investor (regardless of the stage/type of investment they target) and founders alike is hiring great talent. Stigmergic systems SEO projectFuture projectsTechnical notesReferencesKemplelen Box Site map [Top] Copyright Peter Small 1995 - 2008

Solid Rocks & Flowing Rivers On Twitter last night, Dave Winer pointed back to a prescient* post he wrote in March of last year that includes a reference to the Chinese proverb: “If you sit by the river long enough you will see the body of your enemy float by.” When I read that proverb last year, my first thought was, “What if your enemy is sitting by the river also? Will it be long enough for them to see your body float by?” Over the years, I’ve observed that many people confuse fads and evolving methods with those things that actually are important in life and work: The never-changing truths related to human nature, trust, respect, relationships and integrity, among others. The fall of THQ THQ's staff saw the stock price falling. It was 2008 and the global financial crisis hit the video game industry hard. "As a stockholder, it was shocking to me that the stock went through relatively quick decline," says one former employee who asked to not be named. "But even when things weren't going well, I was optimistic." And he had reason to be.

Related: