April 8, 2007
Highs and Lows, Part II
A couple years ago, I wrote about the Highs and Lows of entrepreneurship, and how you didn’t just have to steel yourself mentally for a roller coaster of highs and lows, but that you had to really prepare for the whiplash of having the highs and lows hit you at the same time.
My sequel to the original post was inspired by some conversations with my colleague George Bilbrey this week. It used to be that when the high/low whiplash occurred, while I probably shared either the high or the low with someone in the company, it was unlikely that I shared both. So other individuals might see a high or a low, de rigeur for working at a startup, but they wouldn’t see both together.
But that’s not the case any longer. One thing I’ve now noticed that happens as the company grows — we’re up to something like 130 people now — is that we have a big enough business, and enough of our senior people run large enough pieces of it, that I’m not alone in the highs and lows any more.
This change is, of course, both good news and bad news. The good news is that it’s always nice to share the burden of these things with other trusted people on the team. The bad news, of course, is that whiplash isn’t fun, so now part of my job has to be managing it when it happens to others — not so much senior people on the team, but clearly, once the high/low combo is clear to a couple people, it’s likely clear to an even broader audience.