Startup Therapy Podcast

Episode #130

Ryan Rutan: Welcome back to another episode of the startup therapy podcast. This is Ryan Rutan joined as always by my friend founder and Ceo of startups dot com, Wil Schroder will. One of the things that happens to us as founders, that doesn't happen to us nearly as much where people don't feel as empowered to dig in. And quite the same way they do with founders is that people start looking at our pockets, they start digging in and they want to know how much we've got, how much money

Wil Schroter: you got, how much equity you

Ryan Rutan: got, right? And um, it's uncomfortable, right? And we're not just talking about later stage founders, right? This can, this can happen right from the very beginning with the first equity split. So the first salary payouts. So like why the hell is everybody trying to count our money?

Wil Schroter: It's because we allow them and when I say allow them, I think, you know, we actually enable this behavior by not recognizing that this is going to be a problem from the start, that we've got more compensation where we've got more equity or we've got just more of something than everybody else in the organization has. And if we don't address it head on, if we don't make that part of how we constantly think about our staff, it doesn't end well for us, it ends really poorly. And yet every single time every single founder gets caught off guard going, wait a minute. Like what happened here? I thought we were all on the same page and we're not 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 dot startups dot com and we'll pick it up from there. Yeah.

Ryan Rutan: And it's funny because it doesn't even really seem to matter like how big that gap is. Um, the fact that the gap exists at all. Um, it's like the crack in the door, right? The door is cracked. Kind of doesn't matter how much people are trying to peek through and see what's on the other side. Um, in some cases, you know, some companies go like open book, open cap table, everybody knows what everybody's got. Um, that doesn't really solve this problem. Sometimes it can exacerbate it. In other cases, you get a different problem, which is that nobody knows what anybody else has and everybody becomes really curious and, and, and, and the detective works begins and everybody's like snooping around trying to find out how much do you have? How much do you have? How much do you have? I have literally, you know, had discussions with founders, uh, where, you know, they had like walked in on conversations, where their team was piecing together what they had to try to figure out what that meant. The owners of the company and just like guys come on. Um, but this is a very real behavior, right? People want to know what you have and they want you to somehow justify the difference. Um, of course, they're not asking any other questions like, hey, how much more you got at risk here than I do. Um, and we've done an entire episode on that.

Wil Schroter: No 1's asking those questions. Nobody, here's the thing. Um, this is a problem. As founders, we're going to start to deal with, at a small scale and then it's going to continue to get bigger and bigger over time. And initially it's gonna look something like this, it's gonna look like, wait, hold on, I've got this stake, but you've got this steak, but she has this steak. What the hell? It's like as much as we might want to think that everybody's cool with it, they're not, they're not cool with it. They think about it every single day and as time goes on as those stakes go up, they think about it a whole lot more now. You've got new people coming on now they're thinking how much do I have versus how much does that person have and all of a sudden everyone gets really distracted by what everyone else has right? There, concern isn't what I have, it's, what does somebody else have. For example, if what I had happened to be more than every single other person had, I'd feel ok with it, right? That's not the issue. And again, as founders, we typically, you know, have the bulk of, of, of equity, sometimes compensation if we ever get any. Um, and so the spotlight is on us. And I don't think a lot of founders either recognize it or if they do really know what to do with it or you know how to handle it, I'd

Ryan Rutan: say, I say it's 50 50 right? And, and the very few do we talk to who I think are doing this very well, unfortunately, and it's tough, right? Like I definitely did not have this figured out probably through my first three, um, where it just was this issue that I just assumed always had to be present in the startup, Right? Well, it, it is always going to be present, but I also didn't think, hey, maybe I should have a plan for this, Maybe I should have a way of dealing with this. Um, and it was interesting like how many different ways it manifested itself, Right? So we've talked about a couple of things, um, that make this even more dynamic, one of which is that like sometimes the organization's outgrow people, right? Or you know, their, their their ability to contribute changes over time, you know, you may have been that great, like 0 to 10,000 customer growth person, but now that we're past 100,000 year strategy is no longer work. We gotta bring somebody else in, right? And now that person who's going to carry the ball for the next 100 yards has less equity than that person who's no longer as effective, right? That can be a bit of a rub for that person coming in and like we got here early, but now I'm actually doing more than you did. The other person is going well. Yeah, but I laid the foundation and like it just turns into a circular argument that goes nowhere, right? I think it's kind of funny about this is like, well how often have you seen compensation equity anything change based on these types of discussions?

Wil Schroter: Well, it's, it's not so much about our changing it, but it's definitely about getting in front of the perception 100%.

Ryan Rutan: That's what I'm saying, like, but what do they think they're arguing for is what I'm asking.

Wil Schroter: I'll give an example having lived through this a few times. First time I'm starting my first company. Um, there was four of us and I started the company. Three folks that I brought on and I remember being in a room and we were discussing how we were going to divide up $1000 of income. Okay, now, at that moment we're all broke, right? So no one really cares exactly how that money gets divided, right? And we divided it equally because there's four people sitting in the room. That was our sense, no one cared, right? And as long as we were all in the same situation, and again, this is demonstrative of being early in the cap table. You know, when you're first giving people their shares, everyone's broke, everyone's struggling. Nobody has more than anybody else. So there's not a lot yet to be concerned about. That changes pretty quickly for a few years, right. A few years in the company starts to do well, we start to make some money. My personal compensation starts to go orders of magnitude higher um than other folks that were there in the early days now, mind you, they were employees, not co founders, but you know, that's here or there. But no matter, we're the same age, we came up through the same ranks and all of a sudden, Well showing up to work in a Lamborghini, right? And it's like, what the hell? How did that happen? Right.

Ryan Rutan: Did I, did I not check that box on the on the most recent comp package thing? Like,

Wil Schroter: but I don't want to make that problem worse. Don't show up at a Lamborghini. I was an idiot. Um and so, uh, but here's what happens, They're going to lunch now and they're saying, fuck him, right? They're not like this has nothing to do with them wanting the car, I'm driving. It's the fact that they can't have it. That pisces them off, right? If I take this stance, if I take the stance as the founder and I say, you know what, I earned it, it's mine. I don't care what you think, go after yourself, right? I lose. There's no version where I can strong arm the whole organization with my personal justification and pretend that that's the end of it. This is an apparent trying to like, you know, strong arm their kid. It doesn't work that way. I've got to make the situation real. I've got to address it with them and more so than anything. I've got to have enough self awareness to understand that this is my problem. It's not everybody else's problem, it's their issue, but it's my problem.

Ryan Rutan: Yeah, yeah. Because it's it's it's going to impact you more than it impacts that. I mean, it impacts them, you know, mentally emotionally. But the minute it starts to impact their performance, it starts to impact, uh, you know, company culture, right? We've talked about this before. These little things can spiral out of control really quick and the chances that somebody's piste off about the fact that you're making more money than they are and they feel that it's unjustified. The likelihood that they keep that to themselves is about zero, right? We talked about this, right? That's that is the next lunch discussion, right, luckily they won't talk about it while you're while they're in the car with you because, well, we've all seen the backseat of a Lamborghini. Um They can't ride in the car with you, right, Right. It's all good lunch guys. I'll see you there,

Wil Schroter: Right? Um, but but here's the thing I think we have to recognize again, um, as those, they're they're likely going to have an asymmetrical disproportionate amount of compensation that these issues exist. I also think we need to recognize that we can't play the everyone just deal with it card. We can't write and we can make ourselves feel justified with that card. But if we then want to go and pretend that that somehow solves it for everyone else, it doesn't. And then we take a step further and people say, well, that's their problem. It's not my problem. Like I said a moment ago, it's their issue. It's our problem. If if that asymmetry creates a rift in the morale and kind of how people are focused on the business where they're distracted, et cetera. That is our problem. And I think we need to think about that from, from the jump because it's only gonna get worse over time.

Ryan Rutan: Yeah, for sure. Yeah, this is not a problem that, that sort of deals with itself, right? It will continue because the likelihood is that gap will continue to increase, the compensation gap will increase. Uh, the the equity gap may not increase in percentage. Um, but certainly as the company becomes more and more valuable that that dollar gap, the value of that equity increases. Um, and so, so therefore does the frustration. Um, and the angst and the vitriol that will get sprayed your way at the lunch table when you're not there. So absolutely, it has to be dealt with. And like you said it, it just can't be like the, the ham fisted, you know, you know, do as I say, not as I do right turn as I say, not as I do, it doesn't work right. It's not going to assuage anybody's, anybody's sentiments about this.

Wil Schroter: But on the other side of it, yeah. The other side of is we want to believe, right, Ryan, you and I have worked in this business for a very long time. So we want to believe that new folks that have just joined, Well, appreciate the fact that you and I have spent nearly 10 years building this thing, right? They care, right? No one, no one was there. First off, right. Um, and no one saw what any of the risks or, or contributions or sacrifices were. And more importantly, they don't care. There's no version where they're saying to themselves, well Ryan's in Antigua kind of living it up, but you know, he did work 10 years to kind of get there. So I guess he deserves it. No one is saying that right and if they are there in the far minority and guess what they're not doing, they're not creating lunch discussions around that topic. Hey guys, I really want to talk to you about how much Ryan deserves a latitude he has in Antigua conversation will never

Ryan Rutan: happen. Doesn't, doesn't really happen. Yeah, I wish you know what would be fun is if I could bring back, like if I could have Ryan Rutan 2017, 2016, come back and visit all of them. Remember the one that was like swollen with Cortisol and £30 overweight and not sleeping. I'd like them to hang out with him for a couple hours so that they can understand sort of what some of the milestones along the way look like they're, they're, they're, they're vastly different than they are now. Um, and again, like that's the result of, of a bunch of work grind in in long days and short nights and all the stuff that we put into making this thing, what it is that allows us the latitude that we have now. But to your point, they show up for them. Um, and particularly if like this is what we talked about this a lot. Like we're often people's first job, right? Um, we're, we're even more often I would say, even if we are somebody's second job, we're probably their first startup company job, right? Like if you popped out of nationwide insurance, Right? No one, you know, you don't have the same visibility, it's not a discussion like you're not getting equity in in nationwide insurance, you may get some stock options or something, but it's it's not the same thing. Um and and certainly it isn't part of the culture to discuss it, but like, that's a very, very different environment. And the thing was built so damn long ago that, that, you know, it's a bit irrelevant, right? They're not staring the founder in the face on a daily basis. They're not seeing what what he's doing and it's so far removed from their universe that they don't draw comparisons, right? Not that it doesn't happen. They're still comparing salaries with, you know, with their their cubicle mates up and down the road. Um maybe their shift supervisor or whatever the hell it is that goes on there. Um But I think in, in the startup space, it's it's far different and, you know, there's, there's new employees in won't have context for that either because they've never been through it before. Um where their first job where they were in a job where they just didn't have that type of environment, like where all of the uncertainty grind and growth was already done and it's just a big giant operating machine feels very, very different. Um and so does your ability to um, to kind of absorb what it took to get it there, right. You just don't have that. The other thing and I think this is, this is an important point. We've talked about this in another episode around how to create career path for people because that is also tied into this discussion. It's it's tangential, it's tangential, but when you see like my supervisor works more than I do or it's paid more than I do, so I can aim to become a supervisor and I can become her manager, then I can become her her director, then I can become his VP or whatever it ends up being. Right. So there's this pathway towards changing that comp that is not always clear in a startup company for a lot of reasons, right? The startup changes your ability to move up with the startup may change now, you may absolutely lead growth like fire and and and go from zero to C suite um or you may stay exactly where you started while everybody else grows around you. Um and we don't have that same kind of clear cut um job pathway, career pathway that we do in other businesses. And so I think that also starts to be where people go, okay, this is what I've got and so this is what it's going to be worth. So therefore I need to start to compare this to what everybody else has because I don't have a lot of agency to change this at this point.

Wil Schroter: And I think that can also dial the problem. Yeah, you bet the lack of path and I think that um, when we're sitting there again, um, saying, hey, I worked really hard for this. Um, no one's going to kind of, you know, fill in that backstory or like I said, care, I give an example, Ryan, you remember a few years ago when we moved the family out to Beverly Hills and just saying Beverly Hills sounds so like fancy et cetera and it was cool, right? It was, it was great. Um, we didn't move that out there to get a tan. You've known me, I've never had a tan, right? It doesn't work out there because we're trying to buy, companies were trying to set up meetings, we were trying to drive the business forward during that time while I had moved the family to Beverly Hills and kids started school etcetera. As you recall, was flying back and forth to columbus where the, at the time startups was based during that time I didn't see my family, right? So I'm getting instagram updates for weeks and months about how my kids are growing up, um, as a sacrifice to help grow the business. Um, and be in two places at once. Now I'll be, I want to be honest, no one cares right? Because here's what they see. They see, will living next to Jessica alba, right? And, and these amazing, you know, instagram photos, but what they don't see is will's not at his pool, right? And again, I'm not trying to justify it. I already know that justification is there. What I'm trying to say is what people see and what the actual reality is is not even remotely close. And no matter how much I try to explain that if I try to sit down with the staff, the folks that we're looking for this guy and I try to sit down with them and explain that they won't understand. So I have to be mindful that no one cares what my sacrifices are. However, here's what they do care about. If they then learn that my sacrifices are the things that I'm doing are about to make their career go better that they'll understand, right? If I say, hey, I just found this new company we bought called virtual that they'll understand and I have to be really, really focused on making sure that if I'm going to do anything that's perceived as getting like a bigger benefit than everyone else, it has to be counterbalanced with people understanding how that might benefit them. And by the way, not everything is if Ryan, if you're on a kick as vacation, that's just Ryan on a kick as vacation, right. The fact that they may or may not be able to do that there's only so much you can do about. But I think if you overlook it altogether, you're missing.

Ryan Rutan: Yeah. Because a lot of the still does come down to like kind of personal life choices to write like, you know, you can have a huge salary and still be poor and you can have a low salary and still live quite well. That kind of comes down to personal decisions now. It's not what we're talking about today and I'm not trying to justify that and say, look, it doesn't matter how much we pay people, some people will still be unhappy. That is true, but that's not what we're talking about. Um and well, you know, just, I don't want to leave this point um behind, I really do feel for you in that period when you were in L. A. When every day that you drove to the gym um that you had to drive past a jogging Channing Tatum and his 12 abs. um

Wil Schroter: I

Ryan Rutan: think that there's a level of suffering there that most people will not experience in their lives. So I just, I want to give you a nod on that sure

Wil Schroter: made me not want to go to the gym. I

Ryan Rutan: might, might as well give up at this point. It's like he's not motivating. It's not like I too will know

Wil Schroter: It's not gonna happen. Did convince my wife to drive back and forth to the gym 12 times regardless of whether she went there just so she could keep standing running up and down the street.

Ryan Rutan: It

Wil Schroter: really didn't go well for me.

Ryan Rutan: Are you working out? You run every day? And he's just like, what are you talking about? This is how I move around. I just always, I'm always, I'm always on this page and just this is what I

Wil Schroter: do. Um,

Ryan Rutan: but

Wil Schroter: look, I want to talk a little bit about, um, why won't people ever accept this? Right? You know, why why will we never be in a position where everyone's like, that's cool. I'm so happy for you, right? And this is life in general. But in this case, life in general is gonna, you know, its own game plan for us, specifically within a startup, we have to be 1000% focused on how every action we take, every plan we put together has a reaction to it and what the cost of that reaction is. I talked to founders and they say, well, I've earned it right. I mean like, again, all the sacrifices that I put in, um, I have earned this and I don't want to be ashamed of what I've earned. And I think that's a really tricky spot to be in because on the one on the one hand you have earned it. And, and, and with that, you should not be ashamed of what you've earned. However you have to understand what you've earned no matter how justified it is, has a very real cost to your organization and how it's perceived. And I think that's an interesting thing to kind of be able to, to, to decipher an impact. 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: it is it is, you know, um, kind of another tangential example of this, This, this is an inter organization. Um, this is intra and so I, you know, last year was a tough year for a lot of businesses, right? And not that it wasn't a tough year for us, but we did well enough. And, and by comparison to a lot of the other founders that I was talking to, who were literally making, you know, sweeping changes, cutting three quarters of their staff, um, not taking salaries, like just all sorts of things that had to go on in in order to keep the thing moving. Um, and it became really tricky, you know, as they would ask about like, how, how how are you guys, how are you guys doing? And I'm like, we're doing, we're doing okay right? Like, you know, you have to be pretty careful about how, how honest I was about that because it wasn't that I was ashamed about what we had accomplished. In fact, I was really damn proud. And so when I talked to the people who I knew were doing well or people who weren't in the startup space, I was very able to just be like, you know what, I'm so proud of the team, We're kicking ass. We made some hard decisions, you know, we, we cut back where we could, where it didn't mean any, any loss of, of team. Um, and yeah, that that hindered growth or did these other things that made other things harder. But you know, we kept the team intact. We kept everybody hole that felt awesome, right? And I was super proud of that. It wasn't ashamed of that for a minute. Um, but on the other hand, I I recognize that if I, if I, you know, sort of tied a balloon around what we accomplished and did a little war dance around it in front of the other founders,

Wil Schroter: that, that

Ryan Rutan: was going to make them feel ashamed about where they were at, well, why wasn't I able to pull that off? Why couldn't I do that right? Which would only make them feel bad about themselves and potentially resent me. Right? And I didn't want either of those outcomes. Um, now in this case because they were, you know, arm's length, third party, I could sort of choose what I shared with them when it's inside the company, you don't have that choice, right? Right? And you don't have that choice to to be able to do that. Um And so, you know, whereas somebody on the outside may have been able to accept that maybe they wouldn't have, but I got to I got to decide whether or not I share that with them, but when we get inside the company, we don't have the choice and therefore we do have to be even more careful about how we do this because you said they're just not going to accept it right, It's not like we're going to be able to change their minds about it, they're still going to have feels about it in certain ways. Um but how we couch these things um how we present them can change the perception significantly. Right? You brought up a great point earlier about like if this is a move that was done um with at least some intention of of benefiting the business, you know, maybe it wasn't the entire reason maybe it was kind of doesn't matter as long as there's some aspect of that that says I'm doing this because I believe that this will benefit the business that's received very differently than I'm doing this simply because I want to,

Wil Schroter: which puts us in a spot where we have to be really mindful of how we present ourselves because again, as this thing gets bigger, as the asymmetry gets bigger, it's all lies on us, right? Like everyone's gonna be focused on what are we doing, right? No one cares about what happened to the C. 00 at we work, right? No one even knows who he is or she is, no one knows right, But everyone knows exactly how much Adam neumann got in his compensation for a failed we work, right? No one knows who was number two at Theranos, but everyone knows exactly who Elizabeth Holmes's, right. Um when good or bad, right? The focus becomes one person, especially when things are going bad, right? Things are going bad and you're off on some expensive vacation, right? No one's thinking, oh wow, they earned it right there. Things like, dude, what the hell? Right. Things are, things are collapsing and you're out on a vacation somewhere in your mind. Um, this, this happens to whoever the sitting president is at any given time when they happen to be like on, on their trip and something horrible happens in the world, which happens just all the time. If they would just stop

Ryan Rutan: going to Camp David, bad things would stop happening. I'm almost convinced of it. Um, there's something that happens at Camp David that causes unrest in the rest of the world. I don't know what it is, but we need to stop going there.

Wil Schroter: I see kind of two camps here. Uh, one camp is you kind of just lay low on all of your personal stuff and kind of don't expose it. Um, I've seen founders who, you know, drive to work in their Honda and drive around on the weekends and Ferraris right there, just like, hey, I don't want to extend that image and I think pre social media that was a bit easier to do. I think it's, you know, getting a little bit harder when our lives are so exposed right now. But I will say this, it's not like people don't know, you have a Ferrari at home, right? It's not that they don't know, you have a big house, it's, it takes one second in the era of slack for all of this information to get around. So the, I'm just not going to tell anybody move, it doesn't work right? It used to, it used to, it's kind of a bum move right. The other side of it is just get in front of it, just saying like, here's what it is, here's why I have it. Um, here's how I earned it. Also not going to solve a lot of problems, but at least you're, you know, you're, you have the opportunity to get in front of it right. Um, and I think like, you know, Ryan you and I have had some, some pretty awesome lives personally, especially the last few years as things gotten better. Incidentally, it's not because the business is puking cash and we don't know where to spend it all. It's just simply because it's not losing money, right?

Ryan Rutan: And we've been around a long enough to like, yeah, collect some of it. Yeah,

Wil Schroter: exactly. And so I think, you know, from, from the inside inside, as far as our folks, um if they look at it and go, oh my God, these guys are living so well, you know, they must be taking that money from us, well, we have to get in front of that, we have to be very clear about how the money gets distributed, right? If we get more of that, we have to understand that if they get less, if they ask for a raise and it feels like we're taking all the money and and they're left holding the bag, we have to explain where that's true and where that's not true. I'll give you another another example um you know, recently we started building a new house, right? And if you're on the inside of the company and you see a facebook update or something, and you're like, oh, wow, will's building this new house, why didn't I get more money? Right, That's on me, not because I posted it, because if I don't have folks inside the company understand That, that money, like how we paid for this has nothing to do with how the company is doing. Like, I've been working for 30 years as a startup founder, like it wasn't like we just had a good year and all of a sudden I can buy a house. Um but but I have to explain that now, I can choose not to once again and I can pretend like it's not going to come up The moment one person finds out the whole company knows anyway. And so I've got to get in front of it, kind of have those discussions right? It's part of it's part of how we address things. Here's the more important part, the more important part is I have to be responsible for explaining and in educating our team for how they can do the same, right? They might have exactly the same outcome, but I need to be a force to enable them to to help accelerate their path. That's where things get more interesting, you know what I mean?

Ryan Rutan: Sure, Yeah, I mean, I think that's that really is again, is it going to be fully accepted as an indication that, wow, we must be doing better things are gonna get better for everybody from this point forward, because I'm seeing these, these signals from, from leadership, like, you know, they're they're doing things that I want to be doing. Um I don't think that that just happens by itself. Um So I think we need to, but I think it's a great time to have those discussions with people right, when something good does happen in our lives, regardless of what it took to get there. And I have a very, it's not a funny example, it's it's it's an ironic example. Um But I think if we talk to people about how we got there literally what it took and then talk to them about what they want to achieve and talk to them about what it's gonna take for them to get there on an individual level, then this becomes a much easier discussion. Um This is the story is the story is a little

Wil Schroter: morose. But

Ryan Rutan: When I sold the first company, I wrote checks to everybody that was there and were they massive? No, but we didn't sell for that much money, but I was writing, you know, $15, checks to people mind meeting. They half of them were still in university, more than half were still in University of time, right? So this was like more than any money they had ever touched in their entire lives. Alright, so everybody's payouts were more or less the same. Um you know, there were some subtle differences based on, you know, things that were in the constructor or whatever. But let me shortcut to the end of this at some 0.1 of the guys

Wil Schroter: I

Ryan Rutan: shows up, this is after we sold, this is after the Windows, after, after everything's done, everything was done. We were no longer working together. A couple of people went on and stayed with the acquiring company. Most of them did not, this individual did not, he was still in school um shows up in an Audi tt brand new and the rest of the team was like, It started like kind of coming around at some .3 of the other folks corner this guy right at like some bar to Ohio state and they're like,

Wil Schroter: what the hell? Like

Ryan Rutan: how did you get enough of a payout to to afford that? Like did you, did you, did you lease in that and you buy it? He's like, no, I bought it. How did you have them? Why why was your payout so much more? Like that's like twice as much as I got 2.5 as much as I got. And the guy tears up, this is all second hand. I wasn't there when this happened. Um but the guy tears up and it turns out it was, his grandmother had passed

Wil Schroter: away and the guy

Ryan Rutan: had gotten some inheritance and he had used some of that inheritance to purchase said car. Right? So back to the point, you never know what people went through to get what they've got, right? So you can't just look at like, here's the stack. Um And so you know, we're both doing the same things as far as I can see. Um Why is my stack smaller than their stack, right? You just don't know what went into that right? In this guy's case it was a dead grand, right? Nobody would have traded with that guy for that car, right? They didn't want that. Um, but like, it shows you to the extent that this is really an issue that people continued after the fact to kind of look around and keep the radar on and see who's doing what with that money that we earned, right? Some of them paid off student loans, some of them used it to subsidize the purchase of a car along with grands inheritance, right? So you just never know what it took to get there. Um, and so, you know, remind yourself that as a founder, that the more of that context that you can give people, um, and the more you can tie it to their trajectory in life, the better things are going to end.

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 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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