Yep this is a heavy allegory but starting and running a startup means doing everything at the same time, most of the time, the dirty work as well, hence “shovelling shit”. Particularly if you are in the crypto space. It is only normal that it is a part of the process and there will be moments of frustration and difficulty.
And if you are an aspiring founder or an investor (especially if you invested in us), you might be like:
but first let me absolve myself.
What I am about to do. Everyday, every second
Steve Jobs had a quote about how he goes by his high pressure job. It is now almost sunrise and too late for me to look up the exact quote but it was along the lines of him asking himself everyday if this were the last day of his life, is what he is about to do, would be in fact what he would do.
He even went on to say that there are many days that it is not. When those days pile up, he knew he had to change something.
I believe this is only partly true.
The key here consists of 3 things:
- Looking for change - referring to what Steve Jobs believed in above
- Man in the arena perspective
We talked about
looking for change above so I will skip that.
When you are feeling overwhelmed, it is easy to forget that you used to be in a corporate job where you were in fact shovelling shit. As Garry Tan puts it, you were neither earning nor learning. There are 3 action points here:
- Go back to the docs or any material you used to routinely do from your previous work (if you did not like it obviously)
- Do it. Spend 15 minutes literally redoing it.
- Now think back and compare. Would you rather do that or shovel something you care about?
Man in the Arena
This is something I go back and read almost weekly. It could not have been put better, so I will not comment:
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
That’s not the only thing you can do, but the only thing you should do. We are here to take things forward, make a dent in our names. We are here to follow a vision, however ridiculous it might be. Do not depress because it is not real.
It is what it is. Now onto what it could be.