Ask anyone who has launched a startup before, and they will tell you it is the most violent emotional roller-coaster they have ever ridden. At times you will feel like you are on top of the world, and the next day feel completely doomed. It is probably the most terrifying thing I have ever done. If its so rough, why do it? I think the answer is passion.
Why Do You Need Passion
Like I said, launching a startup is rough. The low points are so bad, you need something to pull you through. This is also the best reason to have a co-founder to go through it with you. The low points are not as bad when you have someone there to talk you through it. Misery loves company I guess.
But I don’t think a good co-founder is enough. You need passion. If you are working on something you are barely interested in, just because you think it can make you rich, it’s just a matter of time before you give up. At some point, you are gonna hit a low point, and you are gonna just walk away.
An Example: The First Prototype of Light Point Web
I spent close to a year building Light Point Web, and it worked. I felt great. At one point I started doing some benchmarking of its performance, and I realized it would never be able to scale to a significant number of users. Panic set in. I was crushed. I tried and tried to fix it, but the technology was just too slow. Without passion, I would have given up for sure.
Instead, I searched for a new technology to build Light Point Web on. I found a solution that would fix the scaling problem, but the technology was never designed to be used like I needed it to. I worked and worked on adapting it to be usable in Light Point Web, and after a year, I had finally gotten back to where I was. There was no way anyone without passion could have put in that kind of work, when all the info in my face was saying it can’t be done.
How Do You Know If You Have Passion
In the past, most of my low points centered on getting the technology to work. These days, they are centered on wondering if people will actually buy it. A couple weeks ago, I was thinking about this problem, and what would happen if not enough people bought it for us to stay in business. The most obvious answer would be to just shut it down and move on to something else. But then I realized that Light Point Web solves a real problem in my life. There is no safer way to browse the web. I would rather just run it for myself than stop entirely. And I think that is a good way to define passion. Even if no one else in the world wanted it, would you keep at it, just for yourself.
An Added Benefit of Passion
When I realized that I would keep Light Point Web going, even if just for myself, it made me think that if I can be passionate about an idea, there is a better chance that other people will too. On the other hand, if you can’t get passionate about an idea, why would anyone else?
What do you think? Do you agree that you need passion, or do you think it will cloud your judgment in making the correct business decisions? Leave a comment below.