STARTUPS ARE JUST LIKE ‘PIRATE SHIPS’

And there can only be one captain.

The number one reason why companies do not make it is not because they cannot ship the product. Or get investments. It is almost always about founders and their egos.

Moreover, it mostly happens when more than one person wants to be the captain. Often without any good reasons. And thus more time is spent on pissing wars, than building the actual thing. Meanwhile, you’re running out of fuel and someone else reaches the destination.

Why does this happen?

Because we spend more time choosing our diet, then picking a partner. Or even if we do take time for this decision, then we do not set the rules right away. We think that as long as the technical cofounder is building the product everything will be fine.

But that could not be further from the truth, as we are only flawed humans. Constantly fighting for our wellbeing. And ours alone!

So…

Unless we have achieved a certain Vulcan-quality mind-meld with our founders, then there should only be one guy running the show (with at least 51 percent of the equity). End of story.

Of course others are also vital players in all this, but they are only there to play their part. Build the product. Sell it. And achieve financial freedom with unicorns and cupcakes.

And if any of this is unacceptable for anyone, then they should just go and build their own ship. This one is either taken or not moving anywhere.

This does not mean others cannot help sailing this one.

Of course they can and should. And every now and then, there should be open discussions about where to go next. While everyone has the right to know what is going on behind the closed curtains.

But once a decision is made then the only title that matters is CEO. Anyone else can call themselves the Grand Poobah of the Sublime Glories of Cthulhu for all it matters. And should just be following the orders.

If asked to jump, then jump. Or pitch. Or stay. Whatever the captain says.

But what if the captain is truly wrong?

Of course, even the enlightened make mistakes and can be beheaded. No one is truly sacred. Thus if someone truly thinks they would lead the ship in a better way, then it is time to take over. But will they?

If the answer is no, then it is time to shut up and keep on digging!

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