Startup Killers

Startup Killers

In my observation, startups fail way before they run out of money. Running out of money is just the period of a long run-on sentence in a company’s history. Aside from this financial ending, there are a lot of items that kill startups: many out of the hands of founders, employees, and investors. Timing, market dynamics, and regulatory environment changes are just a couple of these killers outside of our control.

However, there are quite a few cultural items that will destroy your company from the inside out…items that are almost entirely in our control. I’ve seen a couple of these items creep into teams I’ve led during my career, and I thought I’d write about them here as a precaution to anyone reading.

In no particular order, here’s the list, along with a link to the detailed post as they’re written.

  1. Hype-Driven Everything.
  2. Challenging Everything.
  3. Challenging Nothing.
  4. Leading by Comparison.
  5. Not Iterating.
  6. Acting in Self-Preservation.
  7. Acting With Self-Entitlement.
  8. Organizational ADHD
  9. Pretending to Be Something You’re Not (or Not Yet)
  10. Prioritizing Intelligence Over Wisdom.

Hello World!

I’ve blogged off & on for years, and it’s been quite a while since I’ve spun one up. That said, I’ve a lot of different thoughts in my head that I’d love to get out. If you’re interested in any of them, feel free to add this to your favorite feed reader of choice.  For a bit about what you’re getting yourself into, check out the following:

About Me

I’m the father of 3 daughters. I’m a Christian most of the time. I’m a startup CEO. I love my country dearly. I’m cynical about most things, but also an avowed futurist. Wizards > Prophets. Borderline sociopath, over-the-border narcissist. Closet introvert. I love baths. I can clap with one hand. I love reading and the Nintendo Switch. Cigars are great. I travel a ton and eat even more. I often leave awful first impressions and great thirtieth impressions. Upper millennial living in New York; lower class Southerner.

What I’ll Write About

I’m a firm believer that startup CEOs should work and execute a lot more than they write and philosophize. That said, writing is a huge part of my thought process. It’s a way for to gain clarity on some things I’m thinking through and working on. Considering that, I’ll write on a little.bit of everything, but primarily startup dynamics, leadership lessons, and fintech/commerce-tech. Sprinkled throughout will be cultural notes on what I’ve been reading or listening to. Occasionally I’ll throw some travel notes or life notes in as well. Hope you enjoy!