Being a startup founder is hard, tough, frustrating and rewarding – possibly all within the space of a nanosecond. And yet, it is like a high none other. I have experienced it in others. And quietly, I have lived it for over six years. Here are some lessons I learned from my journey. They may not be universal, but these lessons learned have changed me both as a person and as a founder — Om.
We recently wrapped up our strategy offsite, an annual event that brings together the members of our very distributed team – 12 different cities in four different countries – to discuss what our aspirations and ambitions are for the coming year.
It is also a good time to reacquaint members of our growing team with who we are, what we believe and why we do what it is we do. But most importantly, it gives me a chance to reassess myself, both as a founder and as a member of the team. It is an opportunity to hold myself accountable to people who believe in me, my vision and are helping me realize my dreams.
As part of the strategy gathering, Paul Walborsky,who is GigaOM’s chief executive, asked me about the company’s ethos, principles, what I think about us as a group, and the world at large. It is something I talk about often, but mostly with my team members and in one-on-one conversations.
At GigaOm, we are story tellers. And I believe that as story tellers, we should never really be the story. Sure, we can make an occasional appearance, but less is more. It is still hard for me to think of myself as anyone other than a teller of other people’s stories, but some entrepreneur friends have nudged me to share what I have learned as a founder. To tell my story. So here it is: the evolution of me as a founder and how I see myself and the industry continuing to morph in the months, years and hopefully decades to come. I’ve divided it into four parts:
- Starting It Up
- The Founding Principles
- Building, Learning, Evolving, Improving
- Are You Winning As a Founder?
Via Om Malik
Here is the TL:DR version in case you are pressed for time.