Not Everyone Is Crushing It All the Time

Betabeat has a good article this morning about the realities of what people are deeming “startup depression.” Foster Kramer interviews’s Josh Weinstein on his 25th birthday about how people deal with it and the stigma that surrounds it. I’ve mentioned before that I think there needs to be more realism in the “startup” conversation, that this “we’re going gangbusters all the time” facade is unhealthy both for those inside and outside the looking glass. For those inside, it creates an unrealistic bar that you measure yourself against 100% of the time. If you’re not winning at everything, if your numbers aren’t doubling every week, if VC’s aren’t banging down your door, if Google isn’t sending you truffles to coax an acquisition, then you’re not doing it right. Starting something requires ridiculous optimism and nearly insane positivity, but there are times when that runs out and the roller coaster hits a trough. And in those moments, you don’t want to pretend like everything’s peachy keen, you want support. And that’s what a community is for. For those outside looking in, this mentality distorts the game. People freaked out over how Bloomberg misrepresented the hell out of the Techstars incubator program in their reality show, but this does the same thing, and sometimes there are real consequences. It’s important to exhibit the difficulties of the slog, because that’s a MAJOR part of it. Like Edison said, genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. But it is getting better, stories like Sugru’s are cropping up more and more, and that’s a great thing.

I’d encourage you to read the BetaBeat interview, which was conducted in General Assembly (naturally). It’s still early for a discussion at Hacker News, but I’m sure one will brew up shortly.