On Startups


Picture yourself at the start of a runway. You know that you need to take off, except you don’t have a plane yet. You’re not even sure what your plane will look like or how it will fly, but you have to build it. That’s part of the race.

You start with little more than two wheels, just to start moving by any means necessary. You add a makeshift body and throw in some wings for good measure. As long as you can push it yourself, for now it’s all that you need to get moving down the runway. You pick up speed. It’s time to improve your wings. Time to add engines.

You manoeuvre through the wreckages of the thousands who have tried and failed before you, trying to figure out their downfall from a glance at a distance while you improve and improve and improve.

You must keep working. You can’t stop.

You add to the structure. Dress up the body. Replace some parts. Add lots of duct tape. Move faster. You pick up a smaller plane and use it for parts, scrapping the rest. Move faster still.

You can’t lose momentum, whatever you do. Losing speed is worse than crashing and burning. At least if you crash, someone might write about your wreckage…

People join you. They help you push and they help you build or they slow you down. You need to ruthlessly decide to keep them around, or not.

Did I mention that the runway in front of you is perpetually getting shorter? If you don’t take off in time, you’ll never leave the ground and you’re running out of time. You have to move faster. You have to build better.

You have to take off.

You need to.




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