The Loveless Start Up – IPO Trough
I happened upon a short LinkedIn post by a gentleman named Josh Jones that caught my eye. The title says it all: “We spend too much time celebrating ‘Start Ups”, not enough celebrating ‘Keep Goings'”.
Look, I’m not here to sprinkle any hate on the dreams of Start Ups out there but what resonated with me is his assertion we don’t celebrate the ‘Keep Goings’ enough. As I read his piece, I couldn’t help but picture an inverted bell curve of “Hype” where the ‘Keep Goings’ were bookended by start-ups and publicly traded companies:
Hater’s gonna hate, right? I perpetually operate with a chip on my shoulder as we at GForge hustle everyday to eat a bigger piece of pie in our market by competing against the likes of Github, Gitlab and Atlassian. Josh’s article resonated with me because the Glamor around Start Ups (who are, by their very nature in debt) and the Hype generated by big, publicly traded companies with lots of resources drowns out the successes and accomplishments of companies like ours. The ‘Keep Doings’.
On a more personal note, and at the risk of unveiling some of my own professional insecurities, Josh’s point on the emotional toll is spot on:
“…it is a dark, lonely, stressful, tough road to go down at times, there is no-one who has gone out on a mission and stuck at it for years that has not been into the darkness that is on the road to your dreams.”
I want to leave you all with just three thoughts:
- I’m painfully aware that being drowned out by the Hype generated by Start Ups and big, publicly traded companies is in part a fault I have to own. The GForge brand isn’t where it should be and the accountability sits with me. I only say this to be clear I’m not simply whining about what they are doing right.
- If you are a consumer of B2B solutions and services I ask you consider critically if going with a flashy Start Up, however well funded they are, is better than a proven solution from a company with a solid history and track record. Similarly don’t fall into the “people don’t get fired from buying Microsoft” line that I’ve heard more times than I can count. That’s not a good reason for going big.
- More importantly, I want to hear from the other ‘Keep Doings’. I know there are more of us out there and reading Josh’s piece really gave me perspective and some calm knowing there are a lot more of us out there hustling Every. Single. Day. Come out of the shadows, tell your story and share similar experiences you have had.