A Friday series exploring Startups and the people who make them go. Read all If the Shoe Fits posts here.
The words and images people share through social media have enormous spin.
This is especially true in the startup world where image is everything and perception is key to the next round of funding or investment.
The purpose is to tell the world how world-changing the tech, amazing the team, great the opportunity and how perfectly they are executing.
In other words, they are ‘crushing their goals’, ‘wowing the world’ and ‘killing it’.
Not only that, they are doing it with nary a bump or pothole along the way.
(If you believe that I have a great deal on a lovely orange bridge that would look great in your backyard after you IPO.)
Lee Hower, Co-founder & Partner of NextView Ventures and former entrepreneur at LinkedIn and PayPal, wrote a very needed commentary regarding the hyperbole that irrigates the startup ecosystem.
As he says, “not everybody is killing it and certainly not all the time.”
If anything, the constant social media barrage claiming to be ‘killing it’ is increasing denial, making it harder to admit the challenges, let alone actual problems, and further limiting entrepreneurs ability to talk about it.
Two years ago I wrote about the high incidence of depression and suicide among entrepreneurs and it hasn’t improved.
Entrepreneurs who go public do so after the fact offering useful insights on how they overcame. While this is valuable, it can make it even more difficult for those in the throes, with no one to talk to.
Entrepreneurship is a double-edged sword; while it can be enormously rewarding, it can also destroy and even kill you — or all of the above.
There are two important take-aways in all this.
- Don’t believe everything you see/hear about how others are doing.
- Never forget that your pursuits won’t thrive unless you survive.
Ttake care of yourself.
Image credit: HikingArtist