Startup Therapy Podcast

Episode #123


Ryan Rutan: Welcome back to another episode of the startup therapy podcast. This is Ryan Rutan joined as always by Wil Schroder, my friend partner, the Ceo and founder of startups dot com will as founders, you know, I think it's fairly ubiquitous that were either aiming for or at least thinking about that big moment, the exit, something liquid happens and we get some money. But you know, frequently after this event occurs, all of this chatter bubbles up and all of a sudden everybody's got an opinion on how well the founder did or didn't do and it's typically didn't do at this point of exit. So like what do you have to say about that? I have a feeling, I know what you're about to say about that. Go ahead.

Wil Schroter: These are the straight up startup haters, right? It drives me insane. I'm so glad we're doing an episode about this because this is basically going to be a nonstop rant of who these people are and how much they piss me off because first off the fact that anybody, anybody even got to an exit and we'll get all this right is so few and far between. Like in my mind, the people that are sitting there saying, hey, it wasn't good enough would be the people standing at the end of an Ironman triathlon saying you didn't get the best time. It's like, dude, I just ran a triathlon

Ryan Rutan: triathlon, I won the Super Bowl only by seven, Right gives a

Wil Schroter: shit. I want to pick this apart, I want to pick these people apart, I want to pick the argument apart, Anybody that's sitting around saying that Founder sold for too little, probably doesn't understand what the hell it takes to actually get to one of these exits. And if they do right, their argument might be more nuanced. So if it's another founder, like if you and I were talking about it, we said, hey, that founder sold for too little the nuance and how we'd be talking about it might been boy, like I wish they had gone and pushed a little bit further, I think they could have cranked up the evaluation etcetera, but we would have said it with reverence, we would have said it with, but I'm glad they got an exit, right? That isn't how most of this goes, right, It is not how much of this goes. And so, you know, before we get into it and all the why the argument itself is pretty much bullshit. Let's talk about who these people are, right, who are the haters, Ryan. Like if you were if you were to define this archetype, what does this look like to you? 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 startups dot com and we'll pick it up from there.

Ryan Rutan: I don't love the, I don't love the term entrepreneur, but in this context I'll go ahead and use it. Like it's, it's not something I would normally say and I don't use it for founders who are still working and trying to accomplish something. But there's a lot of people who are just like entrepreneur adjacent, founder adjacent. Oftentimes, it's people who have actually never started anything

Wil Schroter: that pisces me off,

Ryan Rutan: right? It's, it's people who have ideas, but they've never moved forward with anything or it's the jaded founder who's, you know, tried three or four things, none of it's worked, they haven't gotten their exit. Sometimes it's just, you know, employees at startup companies, right? Sometimes it's people who aren't even in the startup space at all. They're just like these random pundits without any qualifications whatsoever, right? And that's typically what it is, right. It's certainly not people who have made a career out of this in most cases, right? It's it's not the retired quarterback turned color commentator, right? It's people who are at the very early stages of this or again, like just people who are adjacent to it, people who have seen like what, you know, x company sold for and therefore this one should have sold for the same amount, right? And they have no real yardstick other than the amount they have no idea what the effort it took to do all this is. They have no idea how unlikely the outcome happening at all is and they have no perspective on what kind of money we're actually talking about. Right, look under that guise mattress, you're gonna find nothing. And yet he's telling this person you sold for too little based on your experience of having what money, Right? So, you know, as an archetype, they're probably also the people who are complaining and griping about pretty much everything else. Like I would say 90% of these people probably have a Reddit account um and going on and on about something else that they're not experts on. But, you know, it comes from all over the place. And I think that's part of the problem actually, that is inherently the problem is that a lot of this comes from sources that have no business opening their mouth in the first place,

Wil Schroter: which drives me nuts, right? Because and I can't even hold myself back when I watched this happen.

Ryan Rutan: I've seen

Wil Schroter: you respond given that we do this for a living, right? Nothing drives it would be the equivalent, right? If you were like Lebron James tom brady hearing another person who's never even played basketball or football talk about how good or bad your game was, right? Okay. Like you're not wrong. I actually didn't win the game, but you're also not me, right? So like I'm going to take your opinion with a grain of salt now that said, what bothers me the most is that just a lack of self awareness that comes with this dissection, right? Where it's like, oh well that founder, you know could have done this, could have done that whatever, you know, they really lost out on this sale. And I think to myself, you have no fucking idea what you're talking about. Right? Again, it's gonna be a long rant, right? You have no idea what you're talking about, You have no idea how hard it was for that person to even get to that point to get to that moment to even be able to do that. And what frustrates me and we can get into the journey and everything. But what frustrates me is just that fundamental lack of self awareness from the people even making that statement. I've got a funny story for you and I wish I had a touch more detail to it. But paraphrasing a little bit years ago in the era of steve jobs they had an iphone launch and one really famous reporter at the time quasi famous reporter was just dogging it was dogging the iphone in jobs and this is one of the best moments I've ever seen called that person out specifically right, emailed them and said just to be clear I did this, this, I invented the personal computer, like mobile phones etcetera. Final words now explain to me what you've done, right and of course were published it, right? Yeah, yeah. And he was like, you know, checkmate, but that's my point, right? He had every right to say that and I'm not saying that that reporters can't report and have opinions. I'm saying at the end of the day, those are just opinions and their bullshit opinions. The opinion that matters is the person that actually did it.

Ryan Rutan: Yeah, I think that there's two things that really hacked me off about this one is the fact that they really have no perspective. They have, they have no right to be saying these things in the first place and secondarily they're not considering the impact that this has in the founder right. This person has just been through hell to get to this point and now they've achieved this and now you're making them second guess themselves if it's getting back to them and in a lot of cases, hopefully people are just ignoring this feedback and not seeing it, but as founders, we tend to take most of this stuff pretty personally whether we should or we shouldn't. Um, I remember somebody once saying like the minute you become youtube famous, you have to stop reading the youtube comments. Um otherwise you know, you're just gonna go throw yourself off a cliff. So the the same thing applies here, right? You've got to try to ignore as much of this feedback as possible. But I think that's the thing that really aggravates me is that these people are taking potshots, people who have just accomplished something great by saying it wasn't great enough or it could have been different in this way or that way without the credentials to do so. But also without considering the harm that they may be doing and to what end like a who gives a flying funk about your opinion and to why does it matter? Why did you need to offer this? What value do you think you're adding? Who do you think you're educating? Who do you think you're helping? And if the answer is no, but he just felt like running my mouth then shut the fuck up end of story. We don't need you, you're not welcome here, go away.

Wil Schroter: And we're going to use up all our expletive our entire all of it. Yeah.

Ryan Rutan: This is our, this is our NC 17 rated album.

Wil Schroter: Yeah. Yeah, we've got a few, come on, You got to give them to us so long time ago. I got a funny story longest time ago, there's a guy named Sam Altman people will know who he is now because he was the president of YC and he had an incredible career. What a lot of people don't know is that prior to YC when he was a YC candidate or a member or whatever it is, uh, alumnus, he actually started a company called looped and looped was a credit card is a long time ago, a really long time ago. And loop sold if I recall my memory sucks, but if I recall for like $40 million but he had raised maybe as much money etcetera. And it posts on hacker news, which for those that are unfamiliar, it's a Reddit like blog that's specific to y Combinator. So these are his people or so he thought it posts and all of a sudden just looped acquired for $40 million. I think it was walmart who it doesn't matter. And there's this long string of posts, Exactly the people that I'm talking about, right? The haters jump in and sold for two little, you know what a miss, blah, blah, blah and poor Sam is reading all this, I mean, dude couldn't have been more than like 24 at the time, right? And I never posted hacker dude. Like I just don't care about it. But on that specific day, just seeing all of those people and exactly the kind of stuff we're talking about frustrated me so much that I just absolutely had to chime in.

Ryan Rutan: You had to fire back. You're like, hey sam, I'll take this one.

Wil Schroter: And so here's what I wrote and I'm paraphrasing it can be google that's out there, I basically said, look, you guys, I said, you guys are basically the people, like I said, at the end of the marathon that are criticizing somebody for not getting a fast enough timeline, right? You get to do that when you're in the marathon. If you're not, if you're in the stands, you have no leg to stand on. Yeah.

Ryan Rutan: If you're not looking backwards well running and seeing that person behind you, you have no say in this. If you're like, oh, I contribute, I I stood and I held a couple of water for people as they ran by like, yeah, your opinion means that much.

Wil Schroter: Okay, alright, but here's, here's why I say that, because for the people that are in the race, right? That's not what they're thinking. They know how hard it is to ever get to that outcome. They know how rare it is to ever get to that outcome. So the people's opinions that matter are the ones that are, you know, in the race with you, their opinions matter, right? If your co founders, like, we didn't sell for as much that opinion matters right there, the whole thing, right, Right, That matters. But from the start up founders standpoint, they're thinking, what the hell? Right. You worked so hard to get here. Like, how is this happening? And SAm was shell shocked. And so I wrote that up and SAm was like, well, thanks so much for sending this. He's like, if we ever get a chance, let's get a beer together and I want to thank you personally. Well, lo and behold a few years later after he'd become the president of YC clearly knew what he was doing. We ended up getting that beer together in the same time. He was so thankful. It still bothered him, right? It's still grated on

Ryan Rutan: him. That's the thing. This is what I was talking about before, right? The impact this has on somebody. Obviously Sam continued on to do other great things, but he still carries that around with him, right? He still carries that baggage of knowing that people took a shift all over that deal for no reason whatsoever. Right, benefited them in No way benefited him in no way hurt him in some ways. And like to what to what point? Right? So just like, you know, I think our mothers all told us this. If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all. Especially if you have zero perspective on the thing you're talking about, right? I'm not gonna tell lady gaga that that last album would have been better if she'd focused more on her breath control. Right? Like, I don't know, I don't know anything about it.

Wil Schroter: Well, OK, what's important to me about that Ryan is that I think from the start of founder standpoint when they're reading the comments on youtube, so to speak. Think about this for a second. Think about who's writing them. Think about whether or not they have a leg to stand on in order to be able to make that comment, Right? And if they do, you know, if they legitimately you haven't, were they there with you? For example, couple months back. A friend of mine sold his company and I knew some of the investors in the deal and some of the investors in the deal said he didn't sell for enough money, right? He sold it too soon. Okay. I'm listening. Right? Tell me you know what, you know, and how you know how you were engaged with it and you know, the return you got and what you were expecting. That's a great conversation, right? I'm not saying I agree with you, but you certainly earned the right to form an opinion and a point of view. You

Ryan Rutan: have a perspective and you have a right to an opinion on this.

Wil Schroter: Yeah, yeah, totally. Your appropriate to be having that. What I want is for a startup. Founder who's in Sam's situation when that situation comes up to go guns blazing at these haters, right to go guns blazing saying unless you're on the field with me, shut up, right. And I think we don't feel empowered to have that. You know, we take that negative energy and we internalize it. Ryan you and I love founders so much the idea of a founder who just went through all this work, then beating themselves up over what other people said. Pisces us

Ryan Rutan: off. big time. Big time. Yeah, I think there's a few defenses against this one? I think they should feel fully empowered to fire back. Now, sometimes shooting back at the trolls just brings more

Wil Schroter: trolls.

Ryan Rutan: So there's that, but I do think it's appropriate to fire back. The other thing I would like to see is for other founders who have the right perspective like you did in that situation with SaM to fire back alongside them. The other thing that I think is really important is to preempt some of this, right? Because a lot of times we see this happen very frequently, which is that like that founder didn't talk to any other founders before. They did the deal, they didn't get any feedback. A deal came along, they get super excited, they run into it. They do the deal things happen, you know, we did, we did an episode a couple of months back now around not leaving anything on the table right around like this is that final step. You need to squeeze here. You need to do all your diligence and try to get everything you can out of this because this is probably the only time this will ever happen. And so it is important to maximize that outcome. Yes. However, third party, somebody from outside who has completely no idea whether you did or didn't do everything you could to maximize the deal needs to keep their mouth shut. However, a lot of times we see founders enter into these things and basically run through a process that they've never been through before because why would they, unless they've sold another company? They go through the process. They sell the company, they don't get any feedback. Maybe they get some from their investors, maybe get some from their co founders, but it isn't very broadly shared, right? It's sort of like kept close to the chest until it happens. So we don't jinx the deal, right? I would love to see that behavior change and I would love to see more founders talking to their inner circle of founder friends about these deals as they're happening before they're happening so that they go into that deal feeling like I've gotten the feedback that I needed and I'm making the deal that feels right and therefore I've pre built this wall, I have a shield. Now I have armor against whatever vitriol or bullshit is going to get thrown at me by people whose opinions don't matter. I feel like if you set up that defensive step ahead of time, you're going to be in far better shape for whatever anybody says after the fact because you're going to go, we already thought about that. We already discussed that and we made the right decision. So go screw

Wil Schroter: well. But the other side of it is somebody says they didn't sell for enough, right? We've definitely covered off on the part that they probably have no right to that opinion. But what's missing in that statement is they didn't sell for enough or they didn't make enough enough For whom? Right? And here's what I'm saying. There's this great story about the founder of Pandora and look it up because it's actually incredible story. But basically he ran 10 plus years running Pandora. It eventually sold when public, I can't remember so long ago and he made $20 million compared to what it was if it went public or sold. I'm pretty sure when public is again, a long time ago they did this this interview with him and they said, boy, you know this exactly, this company goes public, let's say it's worth $500 million and all you got was $20 million after working on this for so long. You know, how do you feel about that? And he's like, amazing. He's like, what the hell else? What was I going to do for the last 10 years that was gonna net me $20 million. He's like, why would I be upset about that? And I love that response? Because what's missing in this scathing review of the outcome is how much money that actually is right? Like he'll never have to work again. How is that bad? Like what did he screw up exactly. 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 every day, 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, we did an episode on this as well, right? Where we talk about what actually is required to have a life changing outcome from an exit standpoint or from me taking cash off the table and it's not nearly as much as people think, right, and I won't go through all of it again. But you and I talked about spread sheeting the important things in life. I actually talked to not a founder, but an early employee in a startup that exited about a year ago who did well enough. He's like, man, I bought my house, I bought my car, I moved back to the city that I want to live in and I'm super happy. I've got, I've got money in the bank and like everything's paid for is like, this is amazing and it wasn't nearly as much money as you think, right, but it was enough to change this guy's life forever now. He's taken another job, but he basically wants to work himself out of that job and go pursue a startup idea that that he has and that's what we were talking about. But he bought himself the freedom to do that by becoming completely debt free, having some money in the bank, owning everything that he really needs to own, right. His spreadsheet is now complete, he doesn't have a yacht or a private jet. He also said he doesn't want either of those things so it kind of doesn't matter. So right to your point talking about these amounts of money and that they didn't sell for enough relative to exactly what what is it that you wanted them to make? How much money does them having? I'm going to make you happy. Why do you give a ship in the first place? They're not giving any of it to you

Wil Schroter: right? What they're saying is relative to what the company could have done relative to the size of the company for its sold for that there piece was so small that it was a bad outcome. And I think what's missing from that is you have to look at the absolute value of that money, not the relative amount of that money, right? There's there's this great jay z quote that says what you eat, don't make me sh it right and what he's like what's good for you doesn't matter for me, right? If $2 million changed my entire life, I won, right? Go fund yourself. And the other thing that I see Ryan, the people that say like, oh we only made $2 million etcetera. Never made $2 million. Like there's

Ryan Rutan: nothing to compare that to,

Wil Schroter: right? That's what I'm saying. They're like, oh, $2 million isn't shit unless you don't have it. It's everything in the world.

Ryan Rutan: $2000 in your bank account is 2000 times less than what's in mind right now. Right? Right. Like you have no perspective on this. You don't understand what that buys you. Right? But but again, I think that's that we've seen this, we see this with founders as well that they were not really thinking about what we talked to founders who are saying like I've got to sell for 500 million. I've got to take 100 million off the table. I've got to do this, I've got to do that. And we have this conversation all the time where it's like, do you, do you really need that much money? How many more lifetimes do you plan on living or like what museum do you plan on building? Like, like are you planning on adding another head to, to rush more? Like what do you need all this cash for? I don't understand. And so I think that's where it gets twisted and we, we see even founders do this. So it's understandable that people outside don't truly understand what's required. Like what's a meaningful exit. The part that I'm going to come back to is what business is that of yours. You weren't worried about the fact that they've been on you know the ramen diet for the last 10 years building this thing. You weren't worried that they didn't have enough money before. Um Now you're worried that they don't have enough now that they have magnitudes more. Why weren't you worried about him when they had no money? That's when you need to worry. Not now right. That was when it was relevant, it's no longer relevant. They've got money, it's not yours. Where's your dog in this fight? I don't get it.

Wil Schroter: You know. But I think the founders think that feel this way to in some cases and so you know I want to I want to make that argument relative as well. I'll give you another example. One of my good friends from childhood in the nineties worked at a company that had a massive I. P. O. He was the founding team prior to the I. P. O. He actually took his like strike price shares which were way cheaper than what they would have been an I. P. O. And he cashed them in and the founder was pissed. He's like what are you thinking right this is gonna be one of the biggest I. P. O. S. You know dot com will never bust right? You know et cetera. And he took about a half million dollars off the table right? And that half million dollars. He's like 22 that half million dollars paid for his law school paid for his, his house, his cars and everything, right? Advanced his life like 15 years. Right? Lo and behold that stock would have gone on to become worth nothing, right? Like for a minute it was worth $10 million and then it was worth nothing and it was it was held up anyway. He wouldn't have got anything out of it. Not the point. Funny epilogue, but not the point. What I watched with him was the difference, the difference that life changing and everything else like that. When you have the means to check off the five most important things in your life in a day, right? What people don't get when they're saying, hey, it's not enough is that it's not enough unless you don't have it, right? 250 grand isn't a lot of money unless you don't have 250 grand. Right? I also see this now among a growing number of founders and it kind of bothers me as well. In this case, I'm pointing to the founders where they're like, you know, a million ain't shit or 10 million ain't shit. Ah you would say that because you have it right? You've got amnesia from back in the days. You didn't have it and you and you were living on ramen noodles, right? Million dollars. All the money in the world of people who don't have it. And when you lose sight of that, you've lost your ship as far as I'm concerned? Yeah,

Ryan Rutan: that's exactly it. I have this conversation with founders oftentimes around just even like their salaries

Wil Schroter: right? And and they're, they're talking about

Ryan Rutan: a business and they're like, yeah, but you know, I just can't see where I can get this thing passed paying me like three or $400,000 a year for the next five years. Like what are you making

Wil Schroter: now? 100

Ryan Rutan: and 20?

Wil Schroter: Like math

Ryan Rutan: being an exact science sounds like you'll be better off right? Like why is that a bad outcome? Right. People just get so confused and that we've set the bar in such weird places around what has to happen to consider ourselves a success as a founder. That it's making it really hard for people to have the proper perspective on this. And they start setting the wrong goals. They start, you know, taking the wrong actions, They raise funds when they don't really need to simply because they think they have to go further and further and further and bigger and bigger and bigger when it turns out that a business that's kicking off three or 400,000 net to the founder when the most they've ever made in the years. 100,000 is a hell of a life change, right? Its magnitude is different than where they were. And yet they're like, well why would I start that if that's where this caps out? Like why would you keep working the $100,000 job? If that's where that caps out? Like, I don't know. You tell me that's for you to answer, you know how much money you need to achieve, the things you want or you don't and that's what you and I typically find is that they actually don't really have clear understanding of here's what I need to be satisfied and to be wealthy and to be free, right? And it's endemic, it's endemic in most of the population. People are just chasing more without a good measuring stick for how much more is actually required.

Wil Schroter: Well, right? So, you know, we work with founders all day long and you know, we've done okay in our own careers, but we know plenty of founders that have done way better. It just doesn't matter because if their money doubles or it gets cut in half our income is exactly the same. Exactly the other side of it is maybe my friends need a $50 million house in bel air. Cool. I don't write, I just don't. And so in my mind what they've achieved in what they can buy. It's not relative to me whatsoever. And the reason I bring that up is because what gets lost in this both among founders and then the people who are questioning their paychecks is no matter what a founder takes in. If the amount is relative to the needs that they have, they want, it's that simple, right? They didn't beat anybody else. They won at life. They won their own game, right? So if 500 grand was what you needed to pay for law school, by a house, by your cars, etcetera, you won. It doesn't matter if it had been $500 million. You already accomplished your goals. The moment we lose sight of that, the moment we start counting other people's money, we will always lose. There's never an outcome that beats everyone else, right? There's never an income. You're Jeff Bezos, guess what? Richard Branson got to space before you did, right? There's always a way to rock paper scissors, Someone else, Right? It doesn't matter.

Ryan Rutan: And let's remind ourselves for a minute that all of this is predicated on the idea that you get to sell at all. Right? Absolutely not a foregone conclusion, right? It is in fact the lowest probability outcome. Right? So let's talk about that.

Wil Schroter: If you gathered all of the founders that have cashed out compared to all the founders that have started something and never cashed out. The first population. Would would cover all of America or second population that have never cashed out, right? The population that has cashed out would be the population of like the smallest town in America people are so lost. That there's this foregone conclusion that just because you build something that it will I. P. O. Sell? whatever that's so far from reality. It's the equivalent of saying well if you went to L. A. You're going to become a famous actor right? If you press an album it's gonna become famous right? Like no it's not. It's the fact that that this person is even in this conversation of the fact that they sold is so rare that you have to appreciate and if you're the person selling I'll give you another example. A couple months ago a friend of mine sold this company, I actually had a really big outcome and was kind of being like oh man you know maybe that wasn't the right deal or maybe I could have gotten more whatever. And I was like dude you know there's nothing saying that you were entitled to this victory right? You're assuming that yes you were going to sell. Yes you're going to you know find an acquirer and just a question of how much right not the case. And by the way I've seen this happen six months could go by, everything could change the business could go sideways etcetera and you'd never see this opportunity again. We've got to calibrate for that. The improbability of this outcome.

Ryan Rutan: Yeah which again speaks to it rolls back to the other two points right which is one that like any outcome is a great outcome because of the probability of it happening being so small and go back to what we talked about in terms of whose opinions are actually valid on this and recognize that it's an extremely small pool of people and it's probably not the ones who are actually saying anything about it because they're off doing other fun things, enjoying those life changing outcomes that they have already created. Um, not standing around griping about you, not making enough off of yours. So yeah, I think that when we consider how small this population is and how difficult this journey is, but again, only founders are really going to know that and that's where all of these super shifted pundits come from because they really don't know or they don't yet know, right? They may be like, well, I'm a founder. So I do know how long you've been doing this three years, come back in 15 and let's talk about it, right? So I think that people are jumping into this conversation. Um, and we talked about this already a little bit, but like they just don't have the context for all that it took to get here. And the fact that even if you do all those things, even if you put in all of the effort and all of the time and do the right things, the outcome is still not guaranteed right. There is no version of I keep punching the clock. I keep hitting my goals and there's a guaranteed exit at the end,

Wil Schroter: right? It's just for how much

Ryan Rutan: it's right and that's not it, right? It's it's just, it's just not true and you can do everything right and still not exit because it's just not a buyer or market timing is wrong, or there were better opportunities than yours, despite yours being a great opportunity, right? Because it's a dynamic and relative situation. And so I think that's what makes this even more painful for you and I to see happen, is that these folks who have essentially ascended to the absolute pinnacle of what is possible for a founder and still be called out and again by people that just have absolutely no right to voice an opinion, is that much more painful, right? You know, we've used the pro athlete, we've used the, you know, the pop star, that's what we're talking about here, right? We're talking about somebody who has reached the peak outcome of their career path, yep, and we're chipping away at them with zero benefit to us other than a chance to, you know, pretend like we know something which really just shows that we know very little we open our mouth and prove that we're fools, rather than keeping it shut and having it assumed. So, like this part, I'm not sure how, how to make this clear to people, right, how to make it clear how difficult this is, and how unlikely that it happens at all, and how unlikely it is that it ever happens again? And so like, what's the point? Like, what what lesson are you trying to give somebody, right? And if you're not then why are you talking at all? I just don't I don't understand this part.

Wil Schroter: We've got three communities we're talking about, you know, I think we we spent plenty of time talking about the haters and kind of you know how that they don't deserve to have an opinion, but that will not change anything. You know, facebook is in Reddit is built for that. But what we want to focus the most on here. We want to focus on the founders themselves. So they don't lose sight of what they accomplished, right? That the trophy that they're holding up they earned. If you got this far you earned it, no one can take it away from you. The size of the trophy isn't the issue. The fact that you've got a trophy at all that you earned is the issue. But the last thing I would say is that it's not just the founder that we want to kind of prop up with this trophy, It's every founder like us around them that needs to suit up and say, you know what I'm defending this person to the end of time right? In the same way that, you know, I stood up for Sam, let's say I want other founders to be able to just go at it, right? This comes up at a cocktail party and you're another founder and you hear this bullshit go at it. You can do it diplomatically, you can be far more kind than maybe Ryan or I would be but defend those people. I do not picture a world where founders like us work the way we do, risk the way we do and at the end of it have tomatoes thrown at us. It's just not the world I want to live.

Ryan Rutan: You had this happened recently in one of your founders groups, didn't you? Where somebody was kind of second guessing and exit and then the group kind of rallied around them to support them through that, right?

Wil Schroter: We did. It was the same thing where the founder had gotten beat up from all sides, right? That this is my point. They got beat up from all sides and everybody around them was basically saying, ah you know, it wasn't good enough for this or that. And after a while they started to believe this bullshit and they got in a room of other founders and the other founders are you out of your mind, I kill for what you just did and you're sitting here talking about how it wasn't good enough because you let all these other people shape your opinion. And that's my point in order for us to kind of rectify and and change a lot of this. It comes out to every other founder whether you sold or not being on the side of the founder and talking about how hard this journey is and for the few folks that make it how much support they actually have. Alright, so that was fun. Well, 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 had 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

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