Wherein I Move a Lot of Words Around

On 168 Hour Workweeks

Ron Conway’s Advice for Young Founders at YC’s Startup School (via Sci-Fi Hi-Fi):

"But [angel investor Ron Conway] took a turn for the serious, warning the enthusiastic crowd that “you have to be willing to work 24/7.” He then went a step further, solemnly claiming, “Dating someone or married: warn them that they’re not first in line, that you have this vocation, that your duty is to your company. It has to be that fanatical.”

There are two kinds of businesspeople: those that want to build a small company that becomes a large company, and those that want to build a company as fast as they can without regard for living life. The above advice falls into the latter.

Yes, technology is moving quickly. Yes, everyone else is building your idea. And yes, many of those building your idea are working insane hours and telling the rest of the world they don't matter as they do it. That doesn't mean you have to do it, too. It just means that if you're choosing the sane route, the 40-50h a week route, that you need to plan your slow takeover more carefully than they're planning their surge. You need to plan for the war, not for the battle. And you need to plan for the war understanding that you're going to lose the first battle, but that after that loss the enemy will have a period where they have nothing — nothing at all — to fight with for a period of time as they juggle hiring, VCs, tech news, bugs, lawsuits (inevitable), and other things they didn't think of when rushing their solution to market faster than they should have.

You consider those things. Be ready for those things. Then release when they're weak and keep moving.