In a startup, resources are required to keep the lights on, pay people, and pursue the vision for why a startup was created in the first place. Recently, I’ve seen more and more examples of where the pursuit of money becomes the focal point, thus ignoring the reasons why the organization was created in the first place.
When we created appendTo, we started the way many founders do, with just a dream. The path hasn’t been easy and along the way we’ve fought many battles to keep our dream alive, many having to deal with money. As we’ve grown (we’re at 17 full time employees), we’ve spent long hours discussing the fact that money is important, but it isn’t the point.
Figuring out what the “point” actually is can be difficult. It’s a process of self-discovery about what matters to the founders and the employees.
The list below is what matters to me, my partner and to appendTo. Your list may be different. The point in sharing our list is simply to encourage you to make a list. You may surprise yourself.
- Ability to be Patient – Patience is a vastly underrated commodity. Ignore it at your own peril.
- Ability to say No – Saying “No” drives focus. Focus or Die.
- Ability to go home at 5 – As a responsible founder, knowing the business operates smoothly without me is invaluable.
- Ability to nurture relationships – People are valuable but Relationships are even more valuable. Nurturing them takes time and effort.
- Ability to contribute to OSS at my discretion – We stand on the shoulders of OSS giant and consistently giving back is the right thing to do.
- Ability to deliver value every day – Knowing I’ve delivered value every day keeps me going.
- Ability to keep learning – The world changes too fast to stop learning.
- Ability to work from anywhere – Geographical constraints are artificial limitations in 2012.
- Ability to pursue my dream while having a life – I have a family. Startups often require immense cost to family life, which I don’t have to pay.
- Ability to never stop dreaming – I’m a dreamer. I will never stop dreaming and wouldn’t last long where dreams were sacrificed to pursue short term revenue goals.
All of this is possible because of the awesome people here at appendTo. This post is dedicated to them!