It's been over a month without a new post on this blog. I launched my company at the end of January and life became very busy. I thought about catching up on posts and just back-dating them, but it's actually significant that this post took a month for me to be able to write. By all objective measurements the launch went very well, and by those same objective measurements everything is still going well. But there's another part of launching that, as it turns out, is a nearly universal startup experience.
I say "as it turns out" because no one told me about this part before I launched, and I really wish someone had.
The part no one talks about is the part where you launch, and it suddenly seems like your entire life has changed overnight. Suddenly there are customers or clients or subscribers and all of the ideas that lived in your head or maybe in a seldom-visited web page have been released into the world and people are expecting you to do something about them. The product you've been building behind the scenes is available. Every little thing that happens (or doesn't happen) seems immensely significant. I thought it was just me. Finally, a couple friends who work at small startups or had launched companies of their own let me in on the big secret: it's a really common experience for founders. And the more I talked about it, the more people opened up about having experienced the same thing. So this post took a month because it took me a month to come up for air after launching, and I wish someone had told me about that part so that maybe I could have been prepared for it instead of letting it take me by surprise.
This post is important because I hope that student founders are reading it.
In case no one else is there to tell you this, here it is: it's perfectly normal to launch and feel like everything is moving faster than you expected. It's perfectly normal to launch and immediately think, "What have I done?!" Everything will be okay. You will settle into your new normal, and it's important to know that you won't necessarily make huge strides of progress every day. That's okay. Just keep going. And know that at the end of the day, no matter what else happens, you launched. You launched a company.