I’m a single founder, working full-time on EventLo. This post is a candid account of my experience so far.
The whole thing has been unlike anything I’ve ever done. I don’t believe there has ever been a time in my life where I have been so wholly committed to one singular thing. It’s like a trance that never stops, though it’s power ebbs and flows with my confidence levels and mental fortitude.
Going on a solo dive is not something that I believe most people can do. I don’t mean this in a negative way. I mean it more that most people would not enjoy what my life has been the last 2 months. There is an incredible solitude that comes with being a single founder. There are some days I don’t leave my apartment. Those are often some deeply productive days. Days which produce as much work as a corporate employee would in a week. On one hand, you mourn the loss of a day, but on the other you relish the feeling of moving the chalklines that far. It’s addictive.
I make a conscious effort to stay social and remind my friends that I’m alive. My girlfriend, Shannon, is very supportive of me and recognizes how important this is to me. She’s pretty amazing.
Sometimes work is like crystal meth in it’s addictive capacity. Usually you’re pushed by ambition to achieve in every sense of the word. Sometimes you’re pushed by a fear of losing ground. It’s not as much of a roller coaster as everyone has made it out to be, but I’m usually pretty level. That’s not to say it hasn’t been a powerful experience. I have no doubt that this will change the way that I operate in any professional capacity for the rest of my life. That’s a pretty profound statement, and I’m not exaggerating.
This has been one of the best learning experiences I’ve ever had.
If you do this, you will fail daily. I don’t mean that in a cutsie cliche kind of way. I mean that your server will crap out and you’ll be “yelling at your monitor” kind of frustrated. You will be told your idea sucks by people that you respect. You will show up at the wrong coffee shop (sorry Geoff) for a meeting because your calendar is too busy. You will miss your parents calls and not get back to them for 2 days because you couldn’t get free. You will stress out and try to find sane ways to deal with it. There are literally not enough hours in the day to accomplish what you want to do. Sounds nasty, huh?
I love what I am doing. It is deeply fulfilling. That simple. I’m building something that people will love and will pay me money for. I dictate my day. I am realizing a big audacious vision that is moving from my brain onto the web. I meet brilliantly creative, intelligent, and ambitious people. You will probably see some of them in Business Week 3 years from now.
The tech community is filled with people that are well worth knowing. The tech startup community really is a community. There’s a feel of camaraderie that circles around tech events. I’ll go out of my way to make useful introductions for people, because that’s just how it’s done here. We look out for each other.
Investors are busy and can smell bullshit, so don’t waste their time. If you want money, ask for it. If you actually want advice, ask for it. No need to play cute. If you have a business that they want, they’ll give you money. That’s their job.
The only people that should even think about starting a business are the ones who are going to do it regardless of what I say. So don’t go start a tech company.
Note: I’m flying solo because I have yet to find a brilliant technical co-founder. If anybody knows a crazy-good Python nut in NYC, I’d love to talk with them.