That, more than anything else, is what will eventually kill their company. Not a lack of funding, not bad product-market fit, but a lack of motivation to try something else and find another way to solve that problem when their first solution doesn’t work out.
If we treated every event like it was a brand new experience, we would quickly become overwhelmed under the weight of it all. So we pattern match. And we filter. And we do the same things over and over again without thinking about them.
At the end of the day, if you don’t own the preferred shares in your startup, you don’t have ultimate control of a company. You do still have plenty of say — you are the founding CEO after all — but even if you’re careful about how much equity you sell, you quickly answer to someone else when it comes to selling, raising more capital and taking on debt.
For your first ten employees as a founder, you not only have to be very clear on the why and the what, but you have to be comfortable occasionally venturing into the how too. You have the context of the entire company all in your head, but no one else can read your mind. So, for a bit, overcommunicate.
If you’re like most people, you’re probably living far too much in category three — filling your time responding to people because, well, that’s what we’re supposed to do, right? People ask for our time and we give it.
Only once you’ve sold your product enough times, one at a time, can you start creating efficiencies. Sales is a process. And just like all processes, it makes a set of tasks more efficient. But you need successful tasks first. Otherwise, you just have super-efficient shitty tasks.