Note: I came home today planning to write about this topic. Then I read Jared’s post (see #4). Bastard stole my thunder (because obviously I’m the first one to consider this analogy :-P).
I’ve often heard the saying “being married to your work”, and I frequently consider the similarities between startups and relationships. For one, on any given day I’m mulling around a few ideas for startups, and most days my thoughts also lead to my lack of a girlfriend and possibly solutions to that situation. There are many things that are nearly identical when it comes to the “game” (as so many, excluding myself, like to call it) of dating and the process of forming a startup. Allow me to elaborate:
|Convince successful people that they should invest their faith (and money) into your idea||Convince women that they should invest their faith (and time) into you|
|You spend an obscene amount of time working on them||You spend an obscene amount of time with them (I will avoid the pun here…)|
|They have the potential for huge monetary payoffs, yet few reach this potential||They have the potential for huge emotional payoffs, yet few reach this potential|
|It helps to be rich||It helps to be rich|
|They’re very internet-focused, and meeting co-founders online is no longer necessarily a bad idea||They’re becoming very internet-focused, and meeting women online is no longer necessarily a bad idea|
|Many people try for years to successfully start one, and once successful find that it’s a lot of work||Many people try for years to successfully find one, and once successful find that it’s a lot of work|
|They will sap your free time and life||They will sap your free time and life|
All joking aside, I do think that this is a notable thing: if you expect to have a steady relationship while working on a startup, 9 times out of 10 one of the two will fail. You need to have an amazing devotion to both, very understanding co-founders/significant other, and full acceptance of the fact that your sleep will suffer double the amount it normally would.I do have a possible solution, though it takes a certain type: date your co-founder (or co-found with your significant other). This only works with 2 founders (being the 3rd+ wheel is never fun…). It seems to be a wonderful test of a relationship. If two people can spend nearly all day together with very little sleep working on what has been called “an emotional rollercoaster” by many and not end up killing each other (sounds like a reality TV show…) it must speak volumes of their bond. Don’t we look for similar qualities from our co-founders and our significant others, trust, honesty, devotion, ability to put up with them for long periods of time, sense of humor. The only difference from my point of view is whether or not gender plays a role. I even submit that there must be a certain chemistry between co-founders, similar to romance but without the lust.
This does create a whole new slew of problems though. Double the stress, emotion, and time spent together, add a touch of competitiveness. Hell, while we’re at it, throw in some romance and programming. Gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “late night at the office”.
So, any young entrepreneurial women looking for a good time co-founder?
Disclaimer for those looking to form a startup: The above was written with a strong sense of humor and mild sarcasm in mind. If you are offended by anything I say, or even consider, for a moment, taking me seriously, how can you ever expect to survive months working day and night with the same people (dating or otherwise)? Really, laugh a little, you’ll live longer.