Startup Therapy Podcast

Episode #100


Ryan Rutan: Welcome back to what is not just another episode of the startup therapy podcast Will today's kind of special man, it feels like a milestone. I mean it is a milestone. It's okay. Maybe a little arbitrary, but like it feels like a big deal to us. Probably feels like a big deal to anybody who's binge listened the other 99 episodes, Because this is our 100th go round on this, this is episode 100 Guys we've made it to here. I mean we've got a long ways to go, but we've we've made it to 100 that's about 100 more episodes than I thought we'd record based on that first test recording when we were like, maybe this isn't for us. Yeah, man, you know what's interesting, you know, I want to provide a little back story because, you know, for folks that have been listening for a while, you know, you're the reason we're doing this and the feedback has been phenomenal, will kind of get into that. But I want to talk a little bit and I think, you know, it's worth us unpacking just how we even got here, you know, for folks that are listening to podcasts, creating podcasts, whatever you just take a couple minutes and talk about what happened and kind of, this thing became maybe one of the best product development tools I've ever seen, you know, for our business right now, we're just sorry stumbling all over ourselves and it only took us 100 episodes and we're still not any good at this is this episode one or 100. Where are we Go ahead? I was just trying to agree with you. Yeah, that it's been amazing to be able to really understand, not just the audience in a different way. Right? Because we've been working with founders for a long time, but to be able to dig in beyond the provision of things we thought the founders needed externally. Right. The tools, the information, the education to really connect at that founder level and think about like, hey, here's what founders themselves actually need. Right, Right. And that was such a weird corner to turn because it feels in hindsight it feels like it should be pretty obvious, right? But it was fun. It was fun to see it come alive as we started to get that feedback on those early episodes, which you and I were both still shaking our heads back going like, oh my gosh, we even be releasing this stuff like, you know, we can hear the burps and the squeaks and the and all the weird noises in the background, the echoes, the bad audio, like all of it. And I remember being really nervous releasing those first couple of episodes, just like, what's the reaction going to be? It was not what we expected. Not at all. The good news is we didn't really expect to ever run a podcast. Like we didn't expect to keep it going. So if people said it was shitty were like that. Okay, we're all done here. We had an escape hatch. But what's your point? This interesting thing happened some of the early episodes and I think one of the first episodes was the emotional cost of being a founder. And I think another episode was around how 250 K was a lot of money. And what we were trying to capture if you recall was just simply how do we have the conversations that we're having every day with founders and just record them. Yeah, right. We're already talking about this stuff, we just needed to hit record turned out I thought when we first did this that you and I would have to have these long scripts and everything would have to be produced, etcetera. And it was funny now people can tell because we're doing video now. That's part of moving to our episode 100 and now you can tell if we have a bunch of jump cuts and it's not us. Most of these are all recorded in one shot, mainly because we're too lazy to do another take. But anyway, the point is, we just started talking, we started the same conversation that we have all the time when you and I were talking and it just worked. But more importantly, it was just us which included all the profanity, all the appropriate, you know, parts of our conversation. We did get one piece of feedback about that, which was to merely fucking ignored. We're like, no, we're going to keep up with it. We're going to keep up with the swearing, sorry guy. But we're going to keep doing this. Just stop listening to the car with your kids, right? That's totally inappropriate. It's like, it's kind of who we are, 32 years of experience and not being appropriate is going to be hard to erase. Yeah, for sure. And so, you know, so we got it going. But the point is, we got a bunch of feedback from folks and like, really intense feedback, which was really cool, more so than you typically get with a product that you release. And and we had a lightbulb moment specifically from the feedback specifically from this podcast, which was people were saying, look, you guys are covering topics that are about me, not really about my startup, there's a million podcasts and you know, the education, we have a whole site dedicated to it, to talk about how to build my startup. You're talking about the messed up stuff that's going on in my head right now and kind of what's relevant, you know, a path forward or busting some myths, whatever. And I need that and remember. And so we kind of went to the white board and we were like, maybe other founders need this. Yeah. And that was kind of our moment, right? And that's been one of the great things about it, right, is that everybody had this realization that, like, holy sh it, I'm not alone. Everybody else goes through this. I shouldn't feel bad or weird that I'm having these issues or that I'm feeling this way or that way or that I'm struggling with this thing or that thing and yeah, again, like in hindsight it feels like completely obvious, but you know, it took us a while to get there. Well what was interesting, we start to have a conversation where we started to say, well, okay, it's cool that Ryan and I are talking, but we've had these conversations a million times, the folks that were talking to the audience into this conversation, you know, kind of bi directionally, you know, by the way, I just want to mention if what we're talking about today sounds like the kind of discussion you wish you were having more often, you actually can, you know, we're online all day everyday working through exactly these types of topics with founders, just like you. So any question you would have or maybe some problem you just want to work through, We're here and we love this stuff and we're easy to find, you know, head over to groups dot startups dot com and let's just start talking. So we started to figure out different form factors for how we could engage, We thought about doing live shows. We thought about doing like a slack channel or combination thereof. And that's actually what led us to the founder group product where we said, the only effective way we're going to do this is to be able to get a small group of people so you can have honesty in a room together talking about hard stuff, but consistently, if you talk about it one time people aren't as honest, etcetera, but if you're building a relationship and rapport and you're talking about it consistently, then you can start to kind of talk about some of this stuff really, honestly. And it worked like who would've guessed? Like the whole founder group premise came from this, It came from our feedback and it was just an extension of the same conversations that we knew that Yes, it's great to hear at uni directional from us. Yes. Opening up some other channels like email, twitter slack would give some level of exposure and turn it into a two way conversation, but it didn't give us what we wanted. So we said, how have we done this in the past? Right. And we've talked about, you know, founder dinners and things like that being the genesis for both the podcast and then really that other light bulb, it was like we've been doing this for 20 years, right? Like we've been inviting founders together into rooms to talk about these exact challenges and they open up and everybody feels better and everybody realizes that we're all going through it. We solve big problems together and people start ups and their lives are better for it. So right. It's been quite cathartic, quite enlightening and absolutely has had an impact for the better on our product and our community, which has been pretty freaking awesome. So thanks everybody. Thanks for thanks for giving his feedback. Thanks for pushing us to keep doing this because I'll tell you and I'm sure will you agree it doesn't take a whole lot of feedback to power me up, man. Like there are times where you know, just like one or two little notes from people and it's like, I've got months worth of juice to keep doing this thing, which feels amazing. I got to say for folks that have been, may be hesitant to reach out to us or you know, I thought these guys don't don't have time for this or whatever. We pour through every single thing you said that I just want to be very clear, right? Like you will get a response probably more than you want your like, I really liked your podcast and then we write you a three page response and they're like, yeah, right, right, trying to high five. You man didn't need the life story even. Yeah, look, if you want to hit us up, we're at therapy at startups dot com were easy to get a hold of. Apparently we have a lot of free time on our hands and we love the feedback. Look the feedback is kind of what's allowed us to really take this thing to the next level. So much love for all of that. And with that said, Ryan, why don't we actually record an episode? We probably should have 1/100 episode for 100 episodes. Shouldn't we write, write, write? This feels like a good 100th episode, right? This feels like a centennial type topic we're gonna talk about who's qualified to be a founder. And will you have a really specific answer to this one that I love? Which is nobody. I mean, fundamentally it's like, who's qualified to be the president? Yeah, right. I mean, discount all the candidates we've had up until this point, right? But no matter who you are, you're pretty much unqualified for the job because it's just too complicated. Yeah, I think at its core where this is a problem is that potential or new founders even, you know, some existing founders are all second guessing themselves. They're all like, oh, I guess those guys must have it all figured out, right. You know, somebody else must have gone through this secret founder training that I didn't get and and they've got the answers or they've somehow got this background because from where I'm sitting, this looks super complicated and I don't understand any of it, but they make it look so easy, allow me to provide the counter example really quickly here. Right? So we can look at a lot of different founders and I don't want to pick on anybody in particular. But I'm going to, let's look back a couple of years that we work, right? And look at Adam neumann and everybody's looking at the moment, this guy's got it all figured out, man, he knows everything, he's a guru. The guy doesn't even have to touch his surfboard, he just floats above it. It turns out they spend a lot of time doing that apparently, so sorry for picking on adam. But it just goes to point out that that picture that we get from the outside, right? And these snapshot moments, these instagram a ble pictures that we use to form our opinions about what another founder is capable of or isn't capable of. And then we start to measure ourselves against that. Remember that when we peel back the onion, when we, when we roll back the curtain, what we find back there is often quite different than what we see from the outside, right? So to your point, don't beat yourself up. Don't have all this self doubt because it's unwarranted, you know, when I go into the classroom, I teach at elementary school level high school level and I teach kids basically how entrepreneurship works. And I always have a simple opening speech which I really love giving and I say right now, every single one of you is qualified to do my job, right? And they think that I'm going to have like a punchline to it and I just stop right now, I'm just like, no, like you guys think that I've got like some mystical entrepreneurial thing that I do. But the truth is, Yes, over time you learn a few more skills, but my nine year old daughter last year started a company in 60 minutes. It takes exactly that long to incorporate registered domain name. And you were now a founder. Like it is simultaneously the easiest job in the world to get in the most impossible job to master. Right? So what I try to take off the table, this is that, you know, the elementary school level or the high school level is this isn't about being a master and then starting the job, this is about becoming a master by starting the job. It's about being willing to put in the time and effort it takes to develop mastery. 100%. Right? That's simple. I had a similar experience two years ago now, I guess I keep dropping 2020 out of the mix, but it was, I realized I was in front of actual humans. So it means that it was, you know, it was in the before time. Um, and it was a group of mostly college students, but some some recent graduates and one of them asked like, how do I become a founder? And I said, it's, it's actually just a couple of steps to becoming a founders. Like, do you have your your laptops open? Okay, go to linkedin, edit your current job title and writing founder, right. And then, and they all they all laughed. But literally that's all it takes to become a founder, right? Like to grow a big business, to grow a healthy business, to become a successful founder. A lot of other steps involved. But like to your point there already qualified, But the one qualification you have to have is the willingness, the perseverance to to actually push through and and stick with it long enough right? To learn to ignore your own feedback. That says stop to be stubborn enough, not even to listen to yourself. I think at its core, what we'll talk about today and what will I believe will prove without a shadow of a doubt is that no matter what, no matter who you are, what you've been through, you actually can't be qualified for this job and I think we should talk about exactly why. So when people start saying, oh bullshit, I got my MBA And so, you know, so that qualifies like nothing really worked that way. I like that you went full perry mason on that beyond a shadow of a doubt. Yeah, Yeah. When, when most of our listeners are sitting there right now going, yeah, I kind of feel that way. It kind of feels like there's all these things going on and it feels like I should know the answers, but I don't And I should be more qualified to have this. I should have had this experience and I don't, we're going to make you feel real good right now because we're going to lay out every single thing you probably think you're not qualified for. And we're going to explain that it's kind of no way around it. So let's start here on day one. When you start your startup, you are required by virtue of what the startup needs to be an expert at everything. But here's the worst part, all at the same time and it's all life or death. So you need to know about finance, you need to know about technology, product development, customer acquisition, you name it and you have to be a guru at all of those in order to be able to do any of them because by the way, you're the only person doing them, you don't have a staff of people yet. It's just you. And so everyone is in the same boat. They're kind of like, well, okay, like, you know, I went to school for marketing, let's say, but I don't understand design. I don't understand how code gets written. I don't understand how I should set up our books, understand fundraising, I don't even really understand marketing because I went to school for like understand marketing. I went to school for that. But the point is you can't write fundamentally, there is nobody that's this Jack of all trades and Ryan just one last before I shut up for a second. There's this interesting thing where like I am actually not an expert, but I am now conversant in almost every aspect of a startup, right? I work on our design, our product development, I work on our finances and our CFO as well on business development and all this stuff, right? Worked on a ton of stuff and I love it when I worked at an agency, we did technology, marketing and design and I wanted to be a guru on all of those. I failed on all of them. But that's a different point. But even here, almost 30 years later, I've had all this experience on the job doing it. But the truth is every one of those disciplines has so much depth to it that the best you can be conversant in all of them, but not really a master in any of them. You know what I mean? That's correct. Yeah. You have to kind of pick and choose where, where your superpowers are going to exist and eventually fill in for the rest, right In the beginning, like you said, you're the only one doing it. So you're gonna have to do a passable job of it. But I think the fallacy here is that I have to be an expert from day one, right that all of these things are required of me and this business will absolutely fail if I am not a perfect marketer, a perfect financier, a perfect designer, a perfect product guy right from day one, right? And that's just not the truth, right? We don't have to do that from the very beginning. Now, as you said over time we can become conversant in things Alright gaga if you're listening, Gacaca being our founding engineer, if he's listening, he'll laugh about this. I used to be very conversant in technology. I used to code websites right, literally either spitting coffee or just like swearing at something right now that I would even say that I had these qualifications but I did at one point in my life, you know, I could, I could code front to back and actually knew a couple of the back end technology at the time that we're pretty fancy and quickly realized that if I wanted to grow the business, I couldn't keep up with that piece of it. Technology was changing too fast that there was no way that I could stay. Even just like just to be conversant was hard because we were, it was at a time where like everything was changing fast, right? Like java happened cold fusion like all these different technologies were just like flying at us at warp speed and I realized that if I wanted the business to grow, I was gonna have to let go of the desire to be the one doing that piece of it, be conversant enough to know if they were the person for the job and then move on, right, and you just have to, at some point, there's no way to be all things to your startup and have a startup that goes anywhere. And let me add to that folks are gonna say, well, okay, look, I don't really understand finance, like that doesn't make a lot of sense to me. I don't understand this whole, like facebook customer acquisition thing. It doesn't make a lot of sense to me. You know, I understand my product, but like all this other stuff seems super foreign to me. That's because it is like, it's always going to be super foreign to your point, Ryan, you need to know enough and you need to get schooled enough, you need to pick it up, you need to get online and start reading about it. We have a ton of courses on startups.com. Alright, so just wanna let you know what we talk about here is like 1% of the conversation, you know, really, this conversation is going on all day long online at groups dot startups dot com. Where Ryan and I pretty much talk endlessly with founders about every one of these topics. So if, by the end of this discussion, you like the topic and you want to dig into it a little bit more with Ryan and I just had two groups dot startups dot com and we'll pick it up from there, but there's a ton of courses elsewhere to, we don't have a monopoly on that, but you just need to understand that this stuff exists, you also need to be smart enough to find the resources to help solve some of those problems, but there's no possible way you are going to become a finance guru, a facebook acquisition guru, a dev guru, like, just forget about that. There's no way you'll be qualified for all those things. No one is, there's also an order of events in which these things become important. The one I always love when people like, I really just don't understand accounting or finance, like are you making any money yet? No, it doesn't matter. You don't have anything to account for. There is no finance, like you're okay, right, go figure out the sales and marketing part of it and then call us back. Right? So let's, let's just, you know, round that out, going into it. I think this is one of the first places where people get super overwhelmed and it makes them feel like either, I don't want to get started because I don't know all those things because I assume everybody else must and I just somehow don't, no one does, like you actually can't, it doesn't matter how much education you've had, you actually can't know all of those things, not to the degree that you're going to be required to know them and if you're feeling super overwhelmed, you're getting into all this for the first time and you're like, oh sh it, you know, like this stuff is becoming a huge problem for me. You're exactly where you're supposed to be right? Yeah. There's no other version of this, right? So it doesn't make it better, but just understand you're ok? Yeah. Unless you're building mogul and you're an ex google employee and it happens to be a search engine that wants to monetize through paid search, right? Like unless you're building something that's already existed where there's like a set playbook and you've been in that industry, 95% of this is guesswork maybe more so I think that's a good point. Yeah. On the other hand, like this is the next part. Like first of all, we were super overwhelmed that I'm not an expert in all these things and it doesn't occur to us that actually no one is. And then we're saying like, okay, but I have to make a definitive choices around things that how would I possibly know the answer to? Like, people are asking me what my lifetime value of a customer is going to be, but I've actually never had a customer yet or they're saying is this what I want my pitch deck to look like maybe I don't know, right? Everybody's asking me for all these definitive answers and I feel like it must be a reflection for how little I know or how UNprepared I am to be a founder that I don't know those answers And I think what folks don't understand is you're actually not supposed to know those answers. You're supposed to understand why there are variable, but there's no way to make them a constant, right and right. And like I think we could even probably like take a look at some of the things that we've done in product development, you know, recently, over the last couple of years and think about how many things like we've been doing this forever. We don't know either. We don't, it's still guesswork, right. The answer is don't think about decisions as being definitive, right? Almost everything that we do in startup land is temporary until it's not right. Something's do become permanent parts of the product mix. But for as many things as you can see on the site now there are at least two x that in a graveyard somewhere, some never made it past paper stage, some never made it past the M V P, some never made it past beta. Right? But what you see is a reflection of 10 times as many decisions that were made and then made and then remade. I mean like we can call it pivoting, we can call it whatever you want, the reality is it's actually just called being at least partially wrong and then correcting it and that's totally okay. That is the process. Here's what founder, especially first time founders just don't get, we're all guessing. We're all guessing because this is exactly what, okay, here's a good example. We are building a product that's never been built before in a market that hasn't existed before with a team that's never worked together before. Right? Like every single part of what we're about to do is a very right, like, like somebody shows up with a basketball, somebody shows up with a baseball bat, somebody shows up with a kitchenaid blender and they're like, what are we doing? Uh, we're building an app for right. Like it's just, it's as much of a ship show as you could possibly create and we do it on purpose. Right? And so the problem with the founders, especially the folks that haven't done it before. Once again, they're like, oh, well, how much are we supposed to spend on dev and when when are we supposed to ship? And you know, what market should we go after? Exactly? And all these things right there totally wound up about not having the answers. You can't have the answers. Two things that aren't known yet. You can't know where you're supposed to put it, be putting your money until you put it somewhere and it doesn't work and you're like, oh sh it, okay, that didn't work. Let's move on to the next thing. I want to stick on that for a second will. So there's something that happens. And I think that founders treat this like a test as if there's a right or wrong answer and getting it right or wrong, has this huge impact on their business and and the reality is, there are situations like that. But I think the way we should look at this instead is is we're defining the answers to the test, right? Like this is it's a test development process, that's what this is. We're going through and figuring out, here's the question here. The potential answers, We're gonna pick one of them, we're gonna try it. If that works, then yes, we got the right answer. If it doesn't, then we develop answer B and C and D. Until we get there. It's an iterative process and we have to treat that as the expectation, right. Also worth noting be prepared to be wrong, at least partially wrong more than your right. And we talked about this episode around failure, right? Which is that most failure isn't absolute and abject failure. It's some partial failure, right? It's very few things go like all the way to zero. And I think that's important to note here too, that's like these decisions aren't gonna take you completely off the rails, right? They may destabilize things that may slow you down. That's okay. Nobody's timing. You. Also, nobody other than you is keeping score on this test. So it's okay, relax, but right. Bear in mind this is a test where it's all variables that no one actually knows what the answers are, You're finding it right, right? Here's where I think people get a little thrown on this one. They're like, well, there's an answer for LTV or there's an answer for how much product we should develop. You know, how much time we should spend on it or what features we should launch? I just don't know it. Right? Yes, because I don't know all these things. You and everybody else who hasn't defined it yet. Right. There's a little bit of truth to that. If I work with a founder or you work with the founder and they're trying to come up with some of these answers, We can maybe shape it a bit, but look until you sell to an actual customer and their subscription Rikers 14 times. How the hell would I know that? Right. All I can tell you, all I can tell you is what the variables are. There's a variable called churn, which tells us how often they're going to stop paying us. There is a variable called LTV lifetime value, which is, which is going to tell us how long they'll keep paying us for. And then there's a variable called price, which tells us how much they're going to pay in all these other variables. But I can't tell you what the value for those variables are. This is where startups start to get messed up for founders to they start to say, well I need to know that number because I need to know how much advertising I should, you know, budget or I need to know how much money I should raise. Or I need to like how could you not know all these things? And the truth is we just don't we're in the business of all variables by a guess, by a guess, by a guess, and I think I've already made this joke, but if you've ever seen the movie multiplicity, when you start to do that right, your guest gets worse and worse looking right, It just ends up being further and further and further from from the reality in all likelihood, right? And you have to be willing to continuously revisit those numbers. I mean like how often do we look at ltv? How often do we look at pricing? How often constantly, here's the thing we do this for a living. So we not only have the benefit of all the businesses that we've started, we have the benefit of seeing all the businesses, everyone else started. Right? So we have like the biggest broadest purview you could possibly have of how all of these businesses work. So if there were a different answer here, we were to say, actually, you know, there is a way to be qualified do X, y and Z, and you'll be qualified. We'd be teaching that we would be pointing to that answer? We've been doing this as long as we're going to reveal that in episode 200, it's a $20,000 product that we're going to mastermind going and then we'll tell you the secrets. Yeah, but look every bit of this and you know, we didn't even get too much into team. We're recruiting all of these people that we think might be the right people, but we don't actually know by the way. No one actually knows. You can say, well, if I had more money, I could hire people with better credentials. True. Still don't know. I mean, the problems exist at every level in the reality is you're gonna make your best guess is that who you should hire, How they might work together, what their career paths are, how you should position them all this stuff. And to Ryan's point, you're going to be mostly wrong and you're gonna have to just work through it, fight through it as it happens until you eventually get it a little less wrong. I don't even want to say right, a little less wrong. Yeah. And then look, this, this goes back to a simple principle and I think this is kind of the third cornerstone of this episode, which is that there's just so much we haven't seen. Yeah, there's no way to have seen it right. If you're flipping burgers at Mcdonald's, by the time you flip 300 of them, they should start coming out pretty much the same because you're doing the same thing over and over and over again, right, we're not doing that. We're constantly creating something new, even once we've built the startup, right? It continues to change, It continues to evolve, It continues to grow. It adds product, it adds people, it adds customers, it adds markets, all of this stuff changes and we've never seen any of it before, which means again, there's no possible way for us to have answers for this stuff and well, there's also no way to have exposure. I think that if we break knowledge skills capabilities into two buckets, there's sort of the things one can learn by course of a normal career, right? Or, or schooling, you're gonna learn certain mathematics, you're gonna learn, you know, maybe data modeling, you're gonna learn how to use a spreadsheet, you're going to learn coding, you're gonna learn all these different things, right? And then there are some things that are very, very founder specific talk about funding, right? Like, right, who the hell would have any idea how to do this? Having not done it before. If you're one of the .001% of people and I'm probably not adding enough os right. Who actually came from a venture firm, right? It is now spinning out to start your own venture, then yes, you understand fundraising, you're, you're one of the few people that gets it and I know a few of those people. So I, it's funny, I actually know how they, how they get it, but here's the thing, there are so many elements to this business to kind of, how this all works, that there's no way you would possibly possibly know what those are. For example, within the founder groups, we run a fundraising workshop where we just have folks come in and they'd kind of drop in and we all go through all the issues they have with fundraising. And to be honest, the issues are always the same because no one would know. So, for example, we always get on a thread. That's how do evaluations work? Like, I don't understand it. Like all these companies are raising money, they seem to have evaluation, they raised money and evaluation. I don't understand it. And my answer every time is why would you? Right? Like, is that what you're doing in your last job? And chances are even if you work at a funded startup, you probably still don't understand it because unless you're the two or three people that happen to be from your side in the room pitching and then going through the entire fundraising process, you wouldn't know it just being in a in a funded startup doesn't tell you anything. It doesn't because you wouldn't have seen that, luckily for me, Mrs McCorkell taught us valuations in eighth grade algebra, right? Yes, you guys nailed it exactly, fundraising stuff. Everybody that went through that, you know, you're you're set right? But but this is like there's a whole bunch of stuff that you can't possibly possibly understand until you've done it. Nobody learned to swim by reading about it, right? You just have to actually do it now. You can get smarter about it, right? You can do some of your diligence, you can talk to other founders, you can get more data about it, but the people who get through it have to do it right. They have to be present and go through that and that actually applies to every single part of the startup process. You can hear about it, be exposed to it, etcetera. But until you're at the center of it and all eyes are on you tupac style, there's no way you'll truly understand or appreciate exactly what this whole thing takes, you know what I mean? Yeah, you know it's absolutely true. And again, like some of these things are so startup founders specific that you've just got to temper those expectations, that you're going to have the answers to those things. Now that said, getting third party perspective, always valuable, right? Like we can't hand you the answers to your test because these tests are infinitely variable, right? What it took for us to build startups dot com is not the same thing. It's gonna take for you to build your business that said there are a number of places where we know when to jump and when to duck because we've fallen in the holes, We've hit our heads on things. We do have knowledge, other people around you have knowledge and perspective, or they can tell you like, yeah, this next part, it's just gonna be super fucking hard and there isn't really a way to figure out, other than just getting in there and doing it. That's also good to know, right? There are certain things that are do not do this, right? And there are some things that are absolutely do good to know those, right? And that's what the communities for and like, this is the kind of stuff that we kick around the founders group all the time. It's like, well, actually, there is a pretty solid framework for what you're about to go through. You're gonna have to modify it and you're gonna have to bend it and and make it fit your needs. But there is a model here, in other cases, it's like, no, it just isn't and good luck and we're here to support you, but like, that's as far as we can take it, think about this, there's also a lot of things that you may have gotten experience with at your previous companies or in your career, but not as a founder of example, You may have had a 20 person team that you manage, so you're like, oh, I've managed 20 person teams, my startup has 20 people, It's one for 1. No, it's not In that 20 person team, you managed for a Fortune 500, if you fucked it all up, did the whole company go out of business right? Like or do you go out of business right? If you screw up an H. R. Decision that you made and hired the wrong person or heaven forbid got sued in a class action, you stop paying your mortgage, right? Are you personally bankrupted by that? No, that's not that is not a one for one in most of those cases that somebody else uphill to turn to and go, what do I do? Right. You had someone else who could pass down information, give you support as the founder. When we look up we see blue sky and that's it and that's on a good day. So it's not the same thing. I had a conversation like this, it's been a couple months ago now guy came out of a corporate environment and built a services based company around a problem that he saw in their industry and and did did a great job with it. But he was like man, I came from managing 200 people. I've got a team of 15 now and he's like 200 was a lot, right? And it felt significant, right? And it it felt like a lot of work, he's like but 15 in the context of a startup is like trying to herd burning cats into a hot tub and like like yeah, pretty accurate. That's what it feels like, right? So it's not the same thing, it's not about the quantity and it's not about having done it before. It's about the complexity, the infinite variability, the unknowns. That means you just don't know what you don't know or how to address that. Also, there's no parity and consequence, right? That's really what we're talking about at its core. You've never managed something where the consequences were 100% Right? Maybe 150%, was when you just screwed the whole company over. Right? The other 50% was when you bankrupted yourself. Well, I want to remind you that at the very beginning of this episode, you told people we're gonna make them feel better about, Oh yeah, way off that course. Your next decision could end it all. Yeah, I guess that went dark fast. Didn't see that coming. But look, but it still proves the point still proves the point that at its core there's no possible way that you could be prepared. That you could be educated skilled up and call it what you want to be qualified for this job. So if what you're feeling right now is I'm overwhelmed, there has to be a different parallel universe version of me that has all these answers or there's this Yoda like person that could come in and give me all these answers. Look, you can get a few answers, but the reality is you just have to motor through this in the same way that all the rest of us do. Yeah, you said it beautifully. Once there are no qualifications. There are only capabilities and, and to me that's the core of it. You will not be qualified. You can't be qualified, right? You can practice all you want, you can read every boxing book there ever was. You can practice and practice and practice and practice and practice. You've never been in a fight and you're aiming to go take on mike Tyson, I can't tell you how it ends, Right? Yeah, yeah, It doesn't work. And so Ryan, let's end it there. Let's end our 100th episode. What do you think? I think this is a good spot. Alright, so that was fun, but let's actually keep this conversation going. You've heard what we think about this, but you know, Ryan and I would really like to hear what you think and we're online, like all day long, pretty much talking about every startup topic you could think of from fundraising, the customer acquisition to just really how to get all of this crazy startup stuff out of your head. And there's tons of other founders just like you, they're weighing in on these topics so you'll get a chance to just hang out and meet some really smart founders were also super, super easy to find you head over to groups dot startups dot com and let Ryan and I hear what's on your mind. Let's get to know each other a little bit and let's just start having more of these conversations. So here we are, 100 episodes in, we're increasing the volume in the frequency that we're doing episodes, much of the chagrin of anybody on the other side of the monitor, We're now recording in video, you can see our ugly mugs, but I like to say first off and I'm sure I share Ryan's sentiment here, thank you for listening for, for soon to be watching for responding for participating. This has been unbelievable. It's been one of the best experiences of my life and I'm Ryan, you know, how do you feel about it? Well, I mean you get to spend a lot of time with me, so it makes sense. But yeah, no man, in all seriousness, has this been empowering, humbling, super enjoyable. I mean, it's like ESPN for us, right? Like this is, this is like when I play by plays and talk about our favorite sport and then share it with a bunch of people, it feels amazing and I'm looking forward to doing like 1000 more of these uh yeah, we'll hit 200 twice as fast as you said, we're not to double the frequency, which we release these things at least in theory. And uh we'll see if for editors can keep up with us today, we actually gave work to do 100 episodes and we still make some mistakes On that note, I gotta say what's really fueled us through, this has been the feedback, we've gotten some amazing feedback and just a couple days ago we were in a founder group and we just got this amazing video that one of the founders who's listened to, I think every episode presented for us and just, I'd love to leave everybody with what he put together, you know, we asked for his permission to share it, he was cool with it and it just captured us, like it kind of brought Ryan and I had two tiers, it's kind of representative of the journey that we've shared together and if you build a product, any product you build and you start up, you build and you get one person to create this kind of feedback kind of makes it all worthwhile.

Wil Schroter: Okay, well, so

Ryan Rutan: much easier

Wil Schroter: to tell the story here because it's a lot to type, but basically, I was feeling like giving up on this idea that I had been incubating for

Ryan Rutan: years.

Wil Schroter: I had a co founder that was really enthusiastic, but wasn't building anything. Um technical co

Ryan Rutan: founder and

Wil Schroter: I was having a really bad, you know, day, week month and I was on my way into boston to do a networking

Ryan Rutan: event

Wil Schroter: and I was just, I was two seconds from turning the car around, I was like, this is the last thing I want to be doing right now, you know why I was just kept asking myself, why am I doing this, Why am I doing this? I don't understand and I was just so down and I felt so lonely, I felt so just like look alone. Like I'm doing this and I can't talk to anybody and I, I don't, I can't talk to partner or friends that just don't get it. And so as I was driving, I opened up Spotify and I typed in like entrepreneur podcast. I had no idea who you guys were, what you were doing and had never heard the podcast before. And um, so startup therapy comes up and just the name caught me. I was like, okay, this looks really cool. Then I started scrolling through and when I saw the cost of the emotional cost of being a startup

Ryan Rutan: founder, I hit

Wil Schroter: play like right from the beginning you guys were like, you know swearing and which I loved

Ryan Rutan: and still love just

Wil Schroter: realness, honesty, you know, and not

Ryan Rutan: all the bullsh it,

Wil Schroter: I just, it was just

Ryan Rutan: resonated and

Wil Schroter: I finally was like, I can't believe like it was the weight that I needed lifted because I just felt like I was alone. And then as soon as

Ryan Rutan: these two really

Wil Schroter: smart, caring people were talking

Ryan Rutan: about the fact

Wil Schroter: that you understand and you've been there, I was like, okay

Ryan Rutan: as

Wil Schroter: long as other people have

Ryan Rutan: been there and just the way you articulated

Wil Schroter: it, the depths to which you went right away. The honesty with which you went there. I could feel how authentic it

Ryan Rutan: was like after 10

Wil Schroter: minutes I was, it was like a revolution. I mean I instantly felt like a weight lifted. I got so inspired. I went into the networking event which ended up being terrific. And then ever since then I've been paying attention to the podcast

Ryan Rutan: and

Wil Schroter: just everything that you guys do and I'm actually now that I've been founders groups, I'm totally like reinvigorated on podcast. I listened like four episodes this weekend. It was just like these guys are just so amazing and you can tell that you care and you know, I care about helping salespeople because I've built sales teams and I know how hard it is and I've put so much of my life into this as I can tell you have. And so what you're doing is so beautiful and uh, and you do it with honesty and you know, it's authentic. You can tell that you care, you can tell that you love it. Um, and it helps. I mean I just want you to know how much it helps me because I felt like I was completely alone and that I couldn't talk to anybody about this, even the people that love me so much and care about me. I would eventually hit that wall where it just wasn't going past that. So it's a blessing to have found it and I'm so honored to be a part of this family. I'm learning so much, I have so much to learn and uh and it's just making this ride

Ryan Rutan: enjoyable in the

Wil Schroter: parts that are typically really painful. It's nice to know that we're not alone and other people are are having the same pain. But if we all come together and help each other out, it doesn't have to be as lonely. It doesn't have to be as daunting, right? We can support each other.

Ryan Rutan: So

Wil Schroter: I want to help

Ryan Rutan: others

Wil Schroter: and that's why I'm so happy. But that's the story. Um and thank you so much again for that episode and everything that you've done after.

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