Ryan Rutan: Welcome back to the episode of the startup therapy podcast. This is Ryan Rutan joined as always by my partner friend and the Ceo and founder of startups dot com, Wil Schroder will, uh today we're gonna talk about something that comes up quite frequently as startups start to feel some of that first success or maybe second or third, we'll dig into that. But um, this is one where we both definitely have some personal experience. So why don't we just start by speaking to that? Um, this notion that like I'm having success now, uh, this is a train that I get to ride forever off into eternity. Um, and you know, just because you've had one success, does that guarantee? Or mean that we're going to continue to do this and we just get to keep having success fun for the rest of our lives.
Wil Schroter: Alright, so before we get into this next topic, I just want to 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 start startups dot com and we'll pick it up from there. Yeah, every hand will be successful. You know, I want this hand, I'm clearly good at this,
Ryan Rutan: it's called a gambling streak, right?
Wil Schroter: Yeah. You know, the problem we have, I think, you know, I'll speak for myself. The problem I had early on is that I had some success young and it wasn't about the fact that I was young, it's just the fact that I wasn't on the planet long enough to see what, what not having success looked like. Right again,
Ryan Rutan: I tried this once it worked. I'm great at this, I'll do it
Wil Schroter: forever. It's the equivalent of you walk into the casino and you go to the blackjack table and you've never played blackjack before And the, the, the dealer deals 21 right out of the gates and, and, and it pays you a bunch of money and you're like, well that was easy, right? Why don't I just keep doing that? And at that very moment Everyone at the table is like, yeah, it doesn't really work that way, right? But you, at that very moment you're like, no, it does work. Look 21 paid out. Yeah. And so I think, you know what we can dig into today isn't just the fact that, you know, we need time to be able to have that comparison. But it's also, I think maybe a more mature state, which is even if we are able to kind of run things through and kind of see the fact that we were successful maybe at a young age, maybe not that it still may be our last best deal, right? We like what you said, Ryan, we keep thinking that if this deal was big, then there must be another deal that will be either big or successful and I think what messes with people, what they just don't comprehend is this actually might be the last one. So you have to treat every hand like it's your last hand and and not you know, not keep trying to one up. So that's For me, you know, it's it's been a struggle for a long time. If you look back say like in your 20s, where were you confident? Not confident etcetera that your success was going to keep on going,
Ryan Rutan: Oh, I mean when you're dealing with these small numbers, which is that I tried something and and it worked so therefore I have a data set of one, it tells me it worked. That's all I have to go on, right? Like you really don't have anything else to push off of. So it's not even really, I mean the danger there is using yourself as the data set, I think um when you go back to our twenties will there wasn't nearly the same discussion around what it was like to be a startup founder or who was doing what or what the successes were. I mean, you know, we were everybody's still watching the ticker tape on Wall Street, right? The I think our ability at that stage was was severely hindered. I'm not making excuses, but I'm saying like, I don't know where else I would have looked at that stage to say. And so this is why it's such a common mistake. If you just assume that this will continue forever, right? There wasn't any real proxy. I knew like two other founders. Um, one of those I met via a phone call. Um, and and that was the, who was that? At the time? It was not, one of my neighbors had an uncle who was like doing these like random CFO gigs with really big companies. It wasn't Paypal. Um, it wasn't Ebay, but it was somebody like in that adjacent space, they're going to be a big company. I can't believe, I can't remember who this is now. It's happening to me too. Well
Wil Schroter: look at this, look where we are.
Ryan Rutan: I'm trying to go back 20 years, it's not working. Um, so yeah, I just didn't have any any really good proxies to say like, here's what I should expect, right? I just looked at what had already happened to me and I based my expectations on that. Um, Right. Statistically not a great way of doing things. So I think, you know, I set myself up for some disappointment there thinking that not only so let me put you in the, in the, in the mind frame, right? So it wasn't only that I would be able to be successful again, but that that one would probably be my lowest level of success from this point forward, they would not only continue to happen, but each time they would get geometrically or exponentially larger and it would just grow in balloon out of control, right? That didn't happen exactly like that. I have gone on to other successes, but it wasn't it wasn't a foregone conclusion, nor did they all get bigger and bigger and bigger. Right. A lot of things changed. So many things changing me like family, all the other stuff that comes in at some point in your life. Um But yeah, just going back to that frame of mind in my twenties, it was like, okay, I did this once did this twice, I can keep doing this and each time it will just get bigger and better. Right,
Wil Schroter: Right. I think part of that though is I think we think about our startup success, the way people tend to think about career success, where it's just compounding year after year, you know, we keep getting a raise, so to speak, we we keep keep moving up. I think what's missing in in that that that calculation is over time, as we keep making these bets their bets, there's actually, you know, we're maybe better at managing the bets, but there's still bets, you know, if you look at this steve jobs When he after he launched Apple right, you know, throughout the 80s, he left and he started another computer computing company called Next. Now, if you stop there and you say, okay, he just started one of the most successful, you know, computing companies of all time. He was still young, he had crazy connections, uh he had capital behind him his own and others. Um and he's starting another computer company that's a dead on, it's like he's taking a big leap, Right, right? And it bombed now, it bombed in a way where he made $400 million dollars in selling it,
Ryan Rutan: but that's here or there, right? But
Wil Schroter: That wasn't the goal, right? Steve jobs wasn't thinking maybe if I leave apple and you know, again, leave one of the most successful computing companies in history, then I can start a company that bombs and I sell for 400 million, not his goal, right? I mean that's steve jobs, you know, who then went on to buy Pixar, who then, you know, went on to to relaunch Apple in a way. Um And what I'm saying is it's not because his, his premise was wrong that hey, I'm more talented and more capable. He is, the problem is if that's not enough, that's not actually what drives our next outcome, There are a million variables that we have no control over, which brings us back to, if that's the case we have to look at every next bet as a bet.
Ryan Rutan: Yeah. And I think the the career analogy is an interesting one because I think that breaks down at a lot of levels, right? Number one, um that's a very well defined framework, right? You're climbing a hierarchy, you're you're going to go from one role, you know, you're going to kind of elevate the role, you're gonna move up in the ranks, you may make horizontal most other companies where there's more upward mobility and ability to to grow, and it's a pretty well defined system, they may even tell you hear the metrics that you need to hit clearly to be able to do that, right? Here's how you get your next races, you get that. But we also don't expect our startups to grow that way, right? We have very different expectations for what happens with the startup, right? It's exponential growth, right? That's not what happens in your career career, is compounding growth. Be interesting to understand what would happen if we actually treated our startups like careers, but we don't, right, we can't be pushing them, You can't Right? So, you know, at some point, I think instead of thinking about the exit, right, we start to think about, well, how would I just turn this into a forever thing, right, where this becomes a career as opposed to a point in time, and we have talked about that, um raising funds and how that changes all that stuff, but I think that, you know, given that we aren't treating this like a career and that the expectation with the career is that there's this compounding over time. Um but you're not talking about that same type of exponential growth and we can't really assume that both those things would happen to your point, we're making much bigger bets with the hope of much bigger returns, right? And so you have to keep that imbalance.
Wil Schroter: You know, I've had two conversations with founders um, over the past month, let's say both ends of the spectrum. And what I mean by the spectrum in this case is one founder had a fairly new business about two years into the business. Um and the business was going well and, and they were thinking, hey, if this is going this, well, let me get out of this thing as fast as I can, you know, create some cash, which is nothing wrong with that, but then go to another one because you know, that will obviously be as as successful because that's what I did, right? I
Ryan Rutan: like that. Just just just to pause there for a second, the the compounding assumptions there would always get me right, I'm I'm I'm a mathematics guy. I love, I love probability. So you're not multiplying one probability, which is that you can even go sell it in the first place, right? So it's a foregone conclusion that I'm just gonna go sell this thing, right? I'm just gonna, I'm just gonna list it and then it'll sell. Um and then that'll be great, I just have to put the price tag on and then somebody will buy it after, after cool negotiations where we sit across the table from each other and tent our fingers, right? Not how it works. And then I'll go on and do the next one and that'll be successful too, right? Like the odds that you're multiplying their together, make that such a tiny, tiny likely outcome. Um, so yeah, I just wanted to, wanted to hit pause for a second there and talk about how easily we do believe these things in the moment. Um, and how if we were to lean back and and take a look at that objectively, we would have very different feelings, I hope, Right? So, good luck to these founders, right? Of course, like, we want to see them, get everything they want from life, but we want them to do it with a little measure of sanity.
Wil Schroter: Well, it, but it's hard to, because at the time it's happening, the founders are thinking everything is going well. So again, I'll copy paste this at the same time talking to another founder who had just exited his business, um, for a substantial amount of money and he's, you know, talking about, well, hey, you know, I need to get kind of wrap this thing up so I can go out and do the next one. Uh, and it was in the process, kind of leaving some money on the table with, with regard to, to, to his exit.
Ryan Rutan: It's so hard to get there. It's so hard to get there. You can't write you, you literally when you do get a chance to squeeze that one, right? Make sure you squeeze it all the way every last drop of juice. Um but you know, it's such a funny point in time because at that moment again, like you've put so much time and effort into that startup, right? And now you're at that point where you're at sale and now you feel like this, this perceived freedom in front of you. Now we've we've podcast on this plenty of times around what actually happens when you sell a company, how much of your identity is wrapped up in all that. But like it's so easy to just look forward and say like I'm just gonna run like hell from this thing so that nothing happens, nothing. It doesn't change. Right All of a sudden the money doesn't get pulled back with whatever. We just try to run away from it as quickly as we can. Um and go on to the next thing and again to your point, we leave so much on the table when this happens because we're just thinking, next thing, next thing, next thing I don't want to put any more time energy effort into that. It sucked me dry. Like I'm just tired. I need to just go do anything else to recharge my batteries. Um and we leave money on the table, we leave connections on the table, we leave so much on the table when we do that. Sorry, I didn't mean to get on a tangent there, but it felt important.
Wil Schroter: No, it's true. But look, the problem is again, this other entrepreneur who had made a lot of money was, was on the other side of the exit and basically, you know, things up with the acquirer etcetera was like, I need to get out of this thing as fast as possible and go focus on the next thing. And
Ryan Rutan: why did did did you get to that point? Did did you get to the y like what, what was actually driving that feeling in the morning? What did he feel or she feel in that moment where it became like this urgency because it's absolutely self created. So what's driving that?
Wil Schroter: I think what happens? So I don't think people see this from the outside run. I think what happens is he's been out of 10 years Right, So so forget that the, the cash incentives or anything else like that or you know, some of the, the economics of the business, he just wants to be done with this marathon. He wants to get off of this merry go round, right,
Ryan Rutan: wants to be able to say it's, it's finished? I can close that book and for so many reasons.
Wil Schroter: Right? And here's the problem though at the end of this marathon, right, that last leg is actually the most important leg, which is to say if you've invested the entire effort of the marathon and you were in spitting distance to the goal line and you quit, then that's the worst time to quit. That's essentially what he's doing. And so, you know, part of, part of what was driving this Is that he had invested 10 years of his life into this outcome, which is fantastic. Again, you know, Hooray for both the effort and the outcome, but more importantly, he's thinking, okay, well, what am I gonna do next to kind of one up this and forget like for a second, like how big of a challenge. That is what he had lost sight of and it's not his fault happens all the time. That's kinda what we're talking about is that he didn't understand that this might be the last one, right? The idea is, let me wrap this thing up quick so I can get on to the next one with the implication, like we keep talking about that there's gonna be a next one. Look, most people, most of the most successful people, you know, did one thing, right? Had one success, right? There are very, very, very, very few successful people that have been successful twice. And and here's the thing we, we quickly have our minds go to like an Elon musk has done it a couple of times or steve jobs who don't, you know, so on and so forth.
Ryan Rutan: But for everyone,
Wil Schroter: one of the
Ryan Rutan: every
Wil Schroter: one of those, there's a million people who have never done it twice, right? And yet we think we're that person every time. That, I mean, I think it's the heart of the challenge. 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.
Ryan Rutan: Yeah, it is. It's this false comfort that I've done it. I did all the hard stuff and now that's behind me, even though it's not truly to your point, you've got, you know, at least 10% of that race left to run, which is just closing it up in the best way possible, getting everything you can out of that outcome. The reason we feel comfortable not doing that is that we feel like, you know what, I'll just make it up on the next one, right? Whatever I'm leaving on the table now, I might as well just go spend that time building the next one because that will be a better investment of my time, of the money that I did just make, whatever, right. We give ourselves all these justifications, um, that are just patently not provably true at the moment, right? Sure. Some people will go on and do great things with that, with that money, with that new time that they have with all the learnings they had from their first business
Wil Schroter: for the vast majority of them,
Ryan Rutan: they will go on, they will struggle with that second one. It will be a lot like the first one and they have to put in at least 10 years of their time to get to another outcome like that, right? It is right. And we forget that, right? It's like, well, the second one will probably twice as successful in half the time. Hmm, I just don't see it. Right.
Wil Schroter: Let's build on that. We talked about this before. The, there's a few things that no matter how good things go for you, you can guarantee guarantee number one, the next one in success for failure is gonna cost you 3 to 5 years. Like unless you decided within six months, if it didn't work, in which case I would say that doesn't even count. Um, but in success or failure, it's gonna cost you 3-5 years. It's gonna cost you 3-5 years to fail, which means starting all over again and going, if you, if you even have the resources to do it, both in energy and finances and all this stuff. But here's the thing, imagine 22 paths, Path one is I maximize what I have, you know, based on where I'm at, I've invested 57 years, well, you know, whatever my investment time horizon, it actually doesn't matter in this case. So that's number one. and I push it two more years to get more outcome. Option two is I actually go kind of, you know, burn it all down and go start the next one. Um, and hope that has a bigger outcome. Think of all the things I just screwed myself on. No one, I could have spent two years to increase a guaranteed outcome vs 3-5 years to have no guarantee of an outcome. Like how is that
Ryan Rutan: better?
Wil Schroter: Usually by the time I have something that's successful, all I care about is did I get everything I could out of it? Because one, like you said, it may never happen again. But the other is, it's the amount of time commitment I need to maximize pales in comparison to the amount of time I need and how many restarts I might need to do to ever get back here.
Ryan Rutan: That's,
Wil Schroter: that's really the heart of it. You know,
Ryan Rutan: that's it. It's also funny to me to just the, the irony of how much time we spend, the laboring, small dollar decisions and and beating up costs within the startup company at the early stage, even at the mid stage, always important to do, always important to optimize, but the amount of time that we spend optimizing for cost and revenue over time and then how little time we're willing to invest at the end when it's over, just like, well, the check is what the check is. Like, I'll just, you know, who cares about, you know, figuring out tax sheltering, who cares about figuring out how to maximize this. You know, the, the, the outcome here at the end. Um, it's crazy because that's the real money, right? That's the money that now is yours right there. There's no more cost associated with that until you decided to go on and spend it on something else, which is a totally different thing, right? It's a whole another episode. It exists somewhere in the past. We've done that. Um, so to me it's just, it's crazy. And again, I get it, I did it. I know I understand the feeling in the moment. Um I'm hoping that there are people out there now that are listening who are hearing this and going okay when I get to that point or, oh boy, I'm at that point right now, this is great. Perk up, right? Pay attention. This is the important part here, right? You've got to spend the appropriate time to finish out this hand because you have no idea
Wil Schroter: what the next step and the hand last longer than you think. So here's an example, the um, the hand doesn't end at the moment, you're our mythical hand here doesn't end at the moment you sell the company, it's the year after and the year after that because you have earn outs, right? You have all these other, you know, income producing opportunities to kind of maximize that outcome. And here's what happens every time company does the deal, they structure some earn out because that's kind of what makes the acquirer feel comfortable and then the entrepreneur checks out, right? Because in their mind the race is over, right? But if you want to be fair, there so burnt out at this point that like there's really good reasons to do that. However, If if you've spent 10 years trying to get to this point And you're gonna shave off the most important income earning years in the last 12 months just because you signed the deal yesterday, that doesn't make any sense. The same point, let's say different scenario Ryan, You've got a company doing $5 million, you've invested five years into it. It's, it's doing okay. It's not, you know, tearing up the world, but it's doing okay and you're like, I gotta get out of this thing, like I'm looking for something that does $100 million dollars a year. Right? Okay. Cool. Sounds great. Now, is it the case that you've got five years invested that you're going to burn that down fire? Sale it, do whatever you're gonna do to get out of it in order to reset the meter on what will likely be a series of attempts to try to get anywhere near your app and kind of wind up right back where you are artists to start with. And this isn't to say, don't go do something new. It's saying play this hand out, get this hand done
Ryan Rutan: real real for you,
Wil Schroter: why
Ryan Rutan: you're, yeah, Before, why you're folding right? Like you have a potentially winning hand and you're gonna fold it right? Um, you didn't get dealt two's across the pork, right? This is not a bad thing. It's just, you have to see it through, right? We've done an entire episode on this as well, Like knowing when to fold the tents is absolutely important. Um, and being very objective in that decision. Um, and why you're going to do it if it's, this isn't growing fast enough. Um, I want something that's going to do more. I want to be bigger. I want to have more impact. Whatever it is probably worth looking in the mirror and saying, well, what is it that I'm not doing that's keeping this business from growing that way right? You are in control of a lot of the destiny of that company. So if it's not working, what makes you think that simply by going and chasing something else? It's gonna be that much differently? So it's a bigger idea. It's a bigger opportunity. Well, is that what's holding you back now? Have you hit 100% of your market at this point? Are you still having trouble reaching him? Are you having trouble retaining them? What are the factors that are holding you back And we don't want to talk about those things in that moment? It's like, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. Those things are the wrong side. We want to look at the shiny side of the ball. Let's look, let's look at everything that's going right and just assume that all that stuff will exist and one of the things that are going wrong will exist in the new one, right? We love to assume the outcome in the next hand and just carry forward everything that's great and nothing that's not right. Little dangerous. Right? Not a great approach to that.
Wil Schroter: I agree. I'll give an example of where I just, I didn't know what I had until it was gone. I'm using the Cinderella power ballad as a reference here.
Ryan Rutan: Um, you
Wil Schroter: know, so, uh, my, my first company, um, You know, I'm 26 years old companies done really well. I've got hundreds of millions of revenue and it's the only thing I had ever done. So in my mind here's what happens. You start from nothing And within 5-7 years you do hundreds of millions of revenue, right? Like that's just, that's kind of how it works. And I wasn't that ignorant, but, but I don't wanna give myself too much credit either. But to be fair, we talked about this moment ago, it was also the only frame of reference that I
Ryan Rutan: had, right?
Wil Schroter: And so it, what's so tricky is it's hard for founders to regain perspective. Part of what I think helps is to talk to other founders, you know, and say, hey, give me an outside look of what I have here. How are you seeing it? And some founders will be like, look, this is a dead end business. And you know, you should kind of go on to do something else, which again is fair. Um, but more often than not you're gonna have other founders like, dude, like you should be paying attention to your actual business. Like you're messing around something in Cryptocurrency, You need to like pay attention to things that's paying you real currency, right? Um, and, and what we also don't realize is the moment we take our eye off the ball. We started thinking about, what's that next thing? What's that next thing? That's when we start firing holes in the boat of the very thing that got us here. I did it when I was running blue Diesel when I was doing really well, all I could think of Was, what am I gonna go do next. And I would say 50% of my day for the last two years was probably spent in my head thinking about what's next? And the truth is had I actually just focused more on that opportunity and it went well. So I don't want to, you know, like downplay it. But had I just focused on that opportunity or had I had the foresight to know now, you know what I wish I knew back then, um I would have gone back and I would have said, dude, I'm not going anywhere, right, Like this is probably never gonna happen again and I am going all in on this thing, you know, good or bad, I'll never be able to, this is an important part. I'll never be able to invest higher r o Y years than I can on a winner, right? And I would have invested as such now. Uh and and Ryan, this, this brings us back to our journey together. Here we are at startups dot com. And we're nine years into the journey. We've been around a while, that was sort of the goal and And we've got a successful eight figure business, right, theoretically, We could all jump ship and start far more successful businesses. I mean there's much bigger than a nine figure business, right? 10 figure business, whatever. But we all, you know, you meet Ellie and the rest of the team, we mostly have the benefit of having been through this before. And this conversation is so different. I was telling Sarah my wife the other night, I was like, in the last nine years, How many new ideas have I brought you that warned about startups.com? And she's like, boy, now that I think about it, you haven't had a single idea. And I was like, contrast that to my last 20 years, we're right, we're starting a new company every two years. I think it's a little bit tricky for us to stand. She ate that same understanding, let's say with the rest of our staff who's, you know, significantly younger than us, uh to their credit, um who's they've only seen this, They've only been on this train, you know what I mean?
Ryan Rutan: Yeah, it's it's tough, right? I think this is one of those places where we're only gonna be able to impart so much understanding through through narrative. Um some of this, you do just have to go through um hopefully collecting enough examples from people around you um that you avoid the major pitfalls in doing this. I, you know, we've we've talked about this before too, but I hate to see false negatives anywhere inside a startup company, right? Because it can be that opportunity that you give up on too soon. Absolutely ends up being the one, right? We see this all the time in early stage startup marketing. Um it's super german to me. Um and I see it all the time. I advise people through this all the time. It's really tough, right? It's really tough to know when we've we've achieved our success, but just like the startup company and I'll analogize it back to the marketing. That curve is flat for so long as you try to figure out which
Wil Schroter: channels are viable
Ryan Rutan: um you know, how, how much do we have to spend to really figure this out? How do we get our target right, all these variables that go into that curve just stays flat and then you start to get a little bit of incremental lift, right? And then if you're lucky towards then you get that exponential lift, but you've got to stick around for a hell of a long time and really work every angle of that To be able to achieve that, that exponential liftoff. Right, but if you've only ever experienced the flat portion of the curve or that incremental lift, your like, this thing's not going anywhere, right? Because I've never seen that before. I assume the plane takes off at a 45° angle you ever seen an airplane take off, that's not how it works until the very end. If you're lucky, it's not how it's supposed to work. Um And it's the same thing in a startup company is the same thing with various aspects of the startup company, whether it's building your team or you know, building your marketing, building your sales, whatever it is, there's this long period of time where things tend to be relatively flat or maybe there's some little inflections, right? But if you look at the curve over a long period of time, relatively flat, right? You have to be able to suffer through that and understand that you don't actually have to suffer during that period. That's just part of the way this works. If it's your point, if that's all you've ever seen, If you're just saying like, well, we're just not really growing what we are, It's just geometric, not exponential, right? It's it's not it is this like, great, it's just a linear progression. Um, and that doesn't feel good. If you're in one startup and you're looking at another startup over there going, yeah, but they're doing this, we'll look at their entire history, look at what they sacrificed to do that. Do they take on Capitol that, you know, is this based on, you know, a $20 million dollar war chest that they now no longer own that portion? The company, there's so much behind the curtains, when you're just looking at that inflection point and going, well, look at what they're doing. Yeah, well, let's look at what they did before that, before we get too excited about what's happening now.
Wil Schroter: I also think that, um, when you look at other companies that are being successful, maybe your own company's successful, maybe it's not what, what, what's missing in that in that assessment is that Everyone is successful in that assessment, right? We we just pulled out all of the most successful companies and said, Okay. You know, why is mine not as successful as that company? Well, what's missing in that whole dataset is the 90% of companies that aren't successful, right? Who don't actually have, uh, you know, a hand in any of this. If you're so fortunate in this game, whether you're a founder and employer or whatever to have your hand in a successful company, do not, you know, look, the gift horse in the mouth, right? Like literally if you're so successful, see it through finish, you know, play it through because for all of us, you know, we are, we've said this before, we are judged by our wins right now. Our participation, right? Uh, if we're so, so fortunate that we can be in a position where we can be in a successful company, whether we started it or were part of it, etcetera. See it through, right? It outpost the win.
Ryan Rutan: Absolutely, man. And so like, let's, let's, let's rewind a little bit and talk about kind of where we come from on this little journey, right? Which is to say that you've really got to pay attention to what you have in your hand right at the moment, right? You can't, again, like, I think you said, you don't know what you've got until it's gone, right? And that's absolutely true, right? You don't know, um, what the value that hand is until you're forced into playing the next one, which may be better. It may not be statistically it will not be right. It doesn't work out in your favor. The house always wins true here as well. Not always, but statistically they come out on top more often. So we go from there into then maximizing what we have while we have it, right. We want to make sure that we're doing everything we can to not leave anything on that table, right? In the same. Like if we're going to continue with our analogy here, you wouldn't simply pick up three out of the four stacks of chips when you win that hand, you'd make sure that you swept that table clean. Right, yep. A little more obvious in that situation. A little easier to do, but no less important. And probably actually far more important than the startup context because it took you more than the time to play that hand. Right? Right. So then we look at that and we go, all right. And we talked to this already a little bit that comfort that we get around, I've already done this. Therefore I can go and repeat this again. That's not true, right? We're assuming that next hand is gonna look better that this next thing release is going to be the same level of hit or greater than what we've just done or what we're doing right now, right? And so I think that's where I want to take this next is to say that like there is no guarantee That that next pitch is a hit, right? That that next hand is a winner, that that next song is, is a top 20, right? We just don't know that we have no way of guaranteeing this very, very little that we can use to predict this other than we've been successful once, which is your point. Most of the successful people, you know, did it once, right? And and they're in the minority, right? Because everybody else failed, the other 90% didn't achieve that level of success. And so now we're assuming that simply because we're part of that, that smaller cohort that we're going to continue to do that, right? This isn't a standardized test just because you did well on it once doesn't mean you're gonna do it well. And it again, it's the opposite of a standardized test. It's a non standardized test. It's infinitely variable. So let's make sure we keep that in mind before we go onto the next thing under the assumption that it will be a hit because the last one was right.
Wil Schroter: Right. I would, I would kind of emphasize, you have two main points at, you know, at which point founders thinking that maybe I should jump ship to do the next thing. The first is like we've been talking about, you know, maximize your wins to the extent that you can. And maybe all that means is, look, I'm just tired, I just don't want to do this business. I don't, I don't care about the maximizing wins. I just, you know, that's just not important to me. That's fair. Um, when you take your chips off the table, right, you know, if, if you, if you were able to cash out for a little bit of money, etcetera, also remember that this may be the last time you ever cash out, which, which isn't just about maximizing that's an important part, but actually cash out the opposite here is I'm so cavalier about this business and I want to go do something else that I leave this business behind that I get nothing off the table.
Ryan Rutan: Absolutely, man, you know, it's, it's a great point. People do need to be willing to take something off the table in this moment. You cannot just, as you said, be cavalier and try to run headlong into the next thing without getting something out of this one. Right? Yeah, there were lessons, Yeah,
Wil Schroter: you're, you have some
Ryan Rutan: better perspective, here's the thing, all startup companies that achieve success, achieve success through a ton, a ton of factors, all lining up at the same time, right. There is definitely some timing and luck involved here. Um, absolutely, there's a lot of founder power skill capability, uh, tenacity that gets rolled in there as well, some of which will carry forward, some of which as you get older will not be there. Right? So this is the other thing to think about that. We, not that we're fighting a clock. Um, but it's definitely a factor, right? We want to take all this stuff into consideration. So before you run through that next greener pasture, make sure that you're taking everything you can off the table from this one, so that you've got the time, energy money, resources to do it with the next one said differently. If you're not gonna do that now, why would you run headlong into the abyss once again on the chance that you just end up with exactly the same outcome?
Wil Schroter: 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 have 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. Let's just start having more of these conversations.