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Startups Don’t Die, They Commit Suicide

Startups Don’t Die, They Commit Suicide
Justin Kan is the founder of 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 (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. Related:  Leadershippanier quinze deux

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. In this post, I describe why we prefer to fund companies whose founder will run the company as its CEO. The macro reason: that’s the way most of the great technology companies have been built At Andreessen Horowitz, our primary goal is to invest in the great technology franchises. (*) While not technically cofounders, Andy Grove and Thomas Watson, Sr. were the driving force behind Intel and IBM, respectively. Two more quick data points before I move on to explain why this happens. The underlying reasons The innovation business These innovations are product cycles.

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. This, according to Jim Boulton of Story Worldwide, is the future of the Internet. “Five years from now, there’ll be no such thing as a webpage,” Boulton tells me. The Barbarian Group’s 2004 campaign Subservient Chicken allowed users to control a costumed chicken by typing commands that the chicken would react to via web cam. 2006’s We Feel Fine constantly searches for new occurrences of any number of ‘feeling’ phrases, categorizing the world’s feelings by age, gender, weather, and location. The web of the ‘90s was a blank slate. (via Insider Images) What sites do you wish were resurrected?

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. Pinterest is one of the fastest growing websites in history, but struggled for a long time. Pinterest’s CEO recently said that they had “catastrophically small numbers” in their first year after launch, and that if he had listened to popular startup advice he probably would have quit. You tend to hear about startups when they are successful but not when they are struggling. Startups are hard, but they can also go from difficult to great incredibly quickly.

Une page de Wikipédia, l'encyclopédie libre. Wikipédia est une encyclopédie écrite par des volontaires sur internet, universelle, multilingue, à laquelle chacun peut collaborer, immédiatement et fonctionnant sur le principe du wiki. Wikipédia a pour objectif d'offrir un contenu libre, objectif et vérifiable que chacun peut modifier et améliorer, sans nécessité de s'enregistrer. Tous les articles de Wikipédia sont un travail en progression qui peut être modifié et amélioré par tout le monde. Pour plus d'informations, lire l'article Wikipédia. Histoire Wikipédia est un projet co-fondé par Jimmy Wales en janvier 2001. Une fondation de droit américain, Wikimédia Foundation a été créée le 20 juin 2003. À l'automne 2003, une très forte croissance a rendu nécessaire l'achat de plusieurs serveurs supplémentaires. Site multilingue Assez rapidement après sa création (Wikipédia en français a été fondée le ), les contributeurs ont poussé au développement des versions en d'autres langues que l'anglais.

Raisons communes des échecs de startups 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. Over the years, I’ve spoken to hundreds of CEOs all with the same experience. Nonetheless, very few people talk about it, and I have never read anything on the topic. It’s like the fight club of management: The first rule of the CEO psychological meltdown is don’t talk about the psychological meltdown. At risk of violating the sacred rule, I will attempt to describe the condition and prescribe some techniques that helped me. If I’m Doing a Good Job, Why Do I Feel So Bad? Generally, someone doesn’t become CEOs unless she has a high sense of purpose and cares deeply about the work she does. And to rub salt into the wound and make matters worse, it’s your fault. 1. 2. 1.

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. Dave and I share a constant amazement (bemusement or dismay might be better terms) whenever people become intoxicated over something they believe is new that we recognize as being built on a foundation that was created and set in motion decades ago, or longer. When we’re in the river, we need a great understanding of the flow.

The Anatomy of Determination September 2009 Like all investors, we spend a lot of time trying to learn how to predict which startups will succeed. We probably spend more time thinking about it than most, because we invest the earliest. Prediction is usually all we have to rely on. We learned quickly that the most important predictor of success is determination. In most domains, talent is overrated compared to determination—partly because it makes a better story, partly because it gives onlookers an excuse for being lazy, and partly because after a while determination starts to look like talent. I can't think of any field in which determination is overrated, but the relative importance of determination and talent probably do vary somewhat. I don't mean to suggest by this comparison that types of work that depend more on talent are always more admirable. If determination is so important, can we isolate its components? The simplest form of determination is sheer willfulness. Being strong-willed is not enough, however.

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. In a sense there's just one mistake that kills startups: not making something users want. 1. Have you ever noticed how few successful startups were founded by just one person? What's wrong with having one founder? But even if the founder's friends were all wrong and the company is a good bet, he's still at a disadvantage. The last one might be the most important. 2. Startups prosper in some places and not others. Why is the falloff so sharp? 3. If you watch little kids playing sports, you notice that below a certain age they're afraid of the ball. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.