Miraculously, in 30 days, the author will reveal that he has saved the dying company, thanks to the Internet.
I wouldn't be surprised if there is a giant "subscribe to my newsletter" button very soon.
Well, I want to be a believer, but unfortunately I had the exact same thought when I saw it.
That's why I feel compelled to ask: have you consulted your team before embarking on this blogging adventure? There's more than a hint of the macabre in the posts (hashtags such as "delusion" being a good example). Do your team members share your assessment? Do they know you're blogging about this stuff? You are inadvertently speaking for them when you speak about these things. I would just urge you to make sure this is not a vanity exercise. Your team members might be very disheartened to learn that their founder is blogging, in dark and occasionally bitter tone, about their impending doom.
In my history of reading these sorts of post mortems, I've noticed that the best of them attempt to draw lessons from failure. At the very least, mine your experience for wisdom and insight. I realize you're doing this in real time, so to speak, and that's part of the exercise. Even still, I would humbly suggest deeper introspection and less melancholy. I know it's ridiculously hard to do that -- but your team (and your readers) will be experientially richer for it. (The first installment in this series, for example, though controversial, was a lot more incisive).
You are off to a very compelling start here, and I don't want to deemphasize that. I feel for you (and your team) in a very real way, and I wish you the best in drawing meaning from what is to come in the next 30 days.
I enjoy reading.
But I don't think it's real.
Everytime I hear that on a podcast or read it online, my douchometer pegs the needle. For an industry based in science and facts, there's far too many buzzphrases and abstractions thrown around by so called leaders.
Seriously, when I listen to a podcast and hear "killing it" or "Yeah buddy!" in one of those 2am infomercial voices, I assume they have a fresh coat of spray tan, a fauxhawk, and are wearing sunglasses inside while recording.
This is a good goal to have when your original plans don't pan out, but the writer needs to internalize that if it doesn't work out, the members of his team will find other jobs and be fine. His investors will be fine, too - they knew the risks going in. And finally, he will also be fine. He should try to sell his company, but if he doesn't manage to do it, he does not need to beat himself up, or feel for a second that he's failed again - which, based on the tone of his post, I'm a bit concerned he's going to do.
You're taking all of this way too seriously.
It's just a company. Sure, it was one that you poured everything you had into, and I'm sure you associate a great deal of your self-identity with it, but it's still just a company.
Some context: I sold my first startup, which I co-founded with my wife, to a company about 3 years ago. We worked there for two years, and then they fired me. I had poured so much of myself into trying to make the product survive post-acquisition that when they showed me the door, I just sort of walked around in a daze, not realizing what I was supposed to do next. Then, gradually, I started to realize that there was a life for me after the startup, and one in which I could do better things than I could ever have working for the company that fired me.
Over time I came to realize that the product wasn't really that important. It was just something I was working on for awhile. If I wanted, I could go build a new version of the same product, or I could work on one of a hundred ideas that I have brewing. Once you realize that pretty much everything is ephemeral, you worry less about each individual step in your life and are able to focus more on the big picture. When it gets dark around you, it can seem like the world is much smaller than it actually is.
I think there's something appealing about having an "arc" of some sort to your life story. In reality, life isn't a play in three acts, and you get lots of chances to define and redefine yourself.
Just be honest, clear, and concise with the people around you. Take your share of the responsibility. Take some time to understand what happened, how you feel about it, and what you learned. Use that information to become better in the future.
An acquihire and even -fire would seem to be a pretty desirable outcome to our writer.
So if you really want to stick with the analogy, it's like an amicably-divorced-and-remarried man telling a widower to just cheer up.
Edit: and then I read the other comments and realize I'm not the only one with this thought.
Just do me a favor-
don't A Million Little Pieces me, bro.
The posts are both very well written and have dramatic twists right on schedule. But s/he's using web marketing writing, with bolded thematic sentences alternating with short paragraphs.
We've seen posts from foundering founders on HN before, and it's usually more like a wall of text. This time, note how this author leaves us on a cliffhanger. Someone in their position should be trying to show they're still in control. So they'd explain more about their plan.
So I think we're dealing with someone who knows startups, who also is an experienced writer, and wants to subvert the business blogging form.
A serious question from an outsider - is this something people really believe or is it a platitude?
I seem to see this statement often since I started reading HN. On the other hand success seems to be measured in selling companies for large sums of money and moving on to something else. Does this really improve the web?
Thinking that one can do anything is good self-motivation, but one shouldn't deny the evidence that "anything" and "everything" are not the same concept, nor that one's particular "anything" may be neither simple nor valuable.
If this is, as some have suggested, a PR campaign/stunt (which doesn't seem entirely over the top)... then it's in poor taste, in my opinion.
One of the first things you learn as an entrepreneur is
that on some level, you’re only as good as your pitch.
The accelerators reinforce this by teaching you the
art of storytelling, a skill that helps an investor
sign a term sheet as much as it helps the father of a
young child decide to take a pay cut to be part of
something that’s amazing.
If not, listen to the advice in these comments.
On some level that may be true. I think the primary level though is that you're only as good as your product. Smart pitches alone get you nowhere. If you don't have a solid, functional product (and one that meets a true market need) the pitch is irrelevant. Nobody buys ideas. Good products sell themselves.
We did TechStars and this was not our experience at all. In fact, we explicitly decided to not raise and continue bootstrapping. They never pushed us to raise or to "lie."
Their advice on raising was we should pick one or the other and move on. The worst thing would be to have an internal turmoil about raising or not raising.
"As I look out at the sunrise this morning, my dreams of building something that mattered have been replaced by a dream of doing right towards those who have trusted me through this journey and walked the road with me. A road I couldn’t have walked alone.
I’m going to save my team."
The first post was okay, this one is basically writing for the sake of writing something.
I think if you want to survive in this world, you need to have this ability of a super-sayan that when you very close to death and survive, you only emerge multipe times stronger than before.