Monday, October 29, 2012

Killing Your Startup

The post below should be required reading for any entrepreneurship class or prospective entrepreneur.  I've lived it this more than once but did not write it so poignantly about the experience. Anyone who starts "up" is more likely to end here than on top of the mountain simply because there are fewer black swans than we think and we can know only post facto.  The reality is even more grim, because after the difficult and seemingly heroic decision and the catharsis of thank-yous, the drudgery of closing takes months of endurance, one day at a time without the excitement of a dream in the making. It is not for everyone.

Some crazy dreamers have it in their DNA to do it more than once, learn from the experience, try again until they succeed (my bet is that Lucas Rayala is one of them). When they do they will value their success the more knowing how rare it is, but the pain he feels is very real nonetheless.
A note for students: in this shutdown, in the ashes, there may be the seed of  the phoenix's rebirth - If you go to the original post below and read the comments, you'll see that there is one entrepreneur, a stranger, that sees the value of Lucas' dream and efforts.  He offers to discuss collaboration to try and keep Lucas' dream alive. Always keep dreaming, the night is darkest just before the dawn starts.

Killing Your Startup on a Thursday Night

Lucas Rayala (Founder of Altsie)
This is what you do when you close down your startup: you call Rackspace and cancel the Windows SQL server plan. You email SendGrid and give them notice on your Silver SMTP Service Package. You close down your Wells Fargo Business Checking account and your Paypal Merchant account. Glamorous stuff. Harder than that: you email your cofounders and tell them you’re jumping into the deadpool. Your fingers will hover over the keyboard for a long time as you decide what to say. Because now shit is getting real.