This is why as an investor, the focus has to be on teams that pass the brick wall test, a measurement of how passionate they are. In a startup’s life, there are countless times when defeat seems imminent. Entrepreneurs I like working with don’t accept defeat; when faced with a brick wall they smash through it.
When you go to a tech meetup, tech party, or read tech headlines, it’s easy to get swept away into thinking things are soaring for a number of startups. Company xyz now has a zillion users, another company just went viral, overnight sensation, etc.
It’s easy to fall in love with those headlines or worse, it’s easy to be distracted.
The truth of the matter is that it hardly ever goes straight up and to the right.
When you dig into the history of these companies the real thing to fall in love with is the founders/employees drive to dig through the pain over an extended period of unease, stress, unknown, fear and make something valuable.
The story hasn’t been fully written but consider companies like Tumblr, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Foursquare, Fab, AirBnB and plenty others.
They didn’t start out as rocket ship. Quite the contrary. They started off rather slowly and bumpy.
The risk of not paying attention to the reality of how these companies evolved is that you can have unrealistic expectations - as founders, employees and investors.
This stuff takes time. And a lot of time. That’s why “build to flip” isn’t realistic either (or interesting to me even if it was). It’s important to build a company from top to bottom with that mindset.