Startups Take Over Your Life

I have to subscribe entirely to the points Graham et al. make in “What Startups Are Really Like“.

It’s been now a year since I quit my previous job. I went from a phase of working at home alone to working with my partner at home to both of us renting a desk at a co-working space. The less stressful period was the first one, excitement was running through my veins, fretting over the finances was not an issue yet and work was organized in a very simple way: if I feel like doing it, I do it, if not, I don’t. The second period was hell. Little was accomplished with both of us working from home. The third period started when we started renting a desk at the co-working space. We started building routines and accomplishing more and working more and better.

Startups do take over your life. You end up thinking about it all the time, weekends included. It can be overwhelming and you have to put up some limits and rules to deal with it. I thought it would be different. I thought I would have another motivation and not so many limitations. Its very easy to get your hopes down. Its easy to start thinking and over thinking.

Here are some of the things that cross my mind every now and then, followed by how I try to deal with them:

I feel like I have to decide everything. I don’t like it when it is up to me to take all the decisions

That’s part of being a leader, some times you have to be confident and just stand your ground on what you are doing. If it turns out that it wasn’t the best decision you can always turn.

My co-founder says “what should we do” instead of “I think we should do like this…”

The other person probably just wants your opinion, not your decision. you can always say “I don’t feel like deciding this right now..”

Things are not going forward as I expected. The deadline is always slipping and we never ship.

Be more careful when estimating; are you estimating too low?

I don’t have enough experience. I don’t know what to do, when to do it, why, where or how to do it!

Invest in whatever training you think can help you improve your experience (management, etc).

I have so much work, I can’t possibly do it all :(

Prioritize. Get rid of the crappy stuff.

And remember, it’s not the end of the world if you don’t manage to get a startup running. There are lot of startups that fail every day.

i9 Conference

If you haven’t seen yet there is going to be an awesome conference for startups and entrepreneurs (builders, makers, hackers) happening in Lisbon in October. i9 Conference speakers include so far:

  • Brad Feld (feld.com)
  • Clint Nelson, Director of Startup Weekend
  • Bill Liao, co-founder of Xing.com
  • Alex Farcet, co-founder of Startupbootcamp
  • etc.

I must say I’m particularly attracted not so much by the talks themselves but by the workshops. Rather than having the normal conference talks, in the first two days the program includes workshops such as:

  • Stone Soup – “how to create something from nothing”
  • The Art of Customer Development
  • Making Open Innovation Work
  • From Innovation To Cash Flows
  • Social Media Tools and Open Innovation
  • (more to come)

Definitely worth checking out, hope to see you there!

Service Design, The Lizard Brain and Arduino

Open Day Lx Factory

Today is an “open day” at the Lx Factory, the place where our co-working space is located. Everyone will have the office open for visiting, surprises and a party that will last through the night. Overall a good opportunity to come and meet some of entrepreneurs that are here, there isn’t a single office in a radius of 1 km that isn’t relatively new :)

http://www.lxfactory.com