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4 of 5 Founders step down, Harvard Business Review – The Founder’s Dilemma

https://hbr.org/2008/02/the-founders-dilemma. One of the life habits that most consistently pays dividends is reading.


The 10,000 hours of practice rule to becoming an expert at anything often neglects a salient point: the practice has to be constructive, challenging and pursued with verve. It has to be quality practice. Reading is like that. Read often but if doing so just to confirm your world view then likely the benefit is nil. This quality of practice belies a truth: unease and discomfort often accompany the best practice.


And then there is timing. Often lessons forgotten or tucked away in dark recesses have the power to transform when revisited at an opportune moment.


The tug of money and control are at the heart of the Founder’s Dilemma. Relearning the lessons just now during a begrudging morning read was not exactly pleasant, the foreboding coming from the title and synopsis, but it was fortuitous, incisive and essential for the clarity needed going forward as I consider pursuing funding.


I was long ago made aware that taking VC money would probably result in my being forced out as CEO after some initial period. I can’t remember a strong aversion to this fact other than it seems unfair and ignominious. Nevertheless, I decided I would steer clear of VC or borrowed money for as long as possible since abstention directly translates to more creative freedom for a longer period of time – a stronger hand to play when the time comes.


That time is neigh but thanks to this read, I can approach the situation with equanimity; a bespoke message at the perfect time.

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