Ten Reasons Why Building a Startup is Like Riding a Motorcycle
You probably know me as the ninja rockstar founder of social media local coupon friend sharing payment mobile startup really-er.ly
This morning while doing zen meditation at my stand-up desk a sudden realization struck me like a Techcrunch mention: Building Startups is like riding a motorcycle.
I’ve never ridden a motorcycle but I’m a seasoned startup entrepreneur (after all, I start feeling old at 23 surrounded my these younger SV wanabees and my extensive 6 month experience in my startup allows me to mentor early-stage startups).
Here are the reasons why building a startup is like riding a motorcycle:
- You must train your mind to do things that are counter-intuitive to your body; what’s best for your startup may not be what you feel like doing now. In a motorcycle you have the countersteering technique for example, where you push the handlebar in the direction you want to go. At the beginning you can’t believe it’s going to work and you have to train your body to just trust and let go.
- You have to hit obstacles head-on. In a motorcycle as in a startup is frequently best just to hit that obstacle in the road head on. Sure, you prepare for it as best as you can but instead of taking the problem at an angle (which makes it worse) you just attack your biggest problem right on.
- Sometimes accelerating and swerving is better than breaking. We see a problem ahead and sometimes we tend to prepare too much for it, worry about it and as result the issue becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. Often is better to quickly swerve or even accelerate to avoid the problem.
- You are leading the pack but you are still alone. When riding in a group you are leading and therefore setting the pace for your people, and even if you are in the same group you are riding alone in your journey.
- By obsessing about the destination you forget about the trip. Remember to stop and exercise periodically. Also stopping and pausing for a bit will let you check the map and the course you are taking.
- When riding with a passenger, you both have to lean. If you have a co-founder this person needs to follow your movements on the motorcycle and lean into the curve with you, otherwise the motorcycle/startup becomes unstable.
- You can crash at any moment. But you still ride. Riding is what you do, it’s your life. There are always risks but you have to manage those risks.
- It will rain but you go on. If being uncomfortable because a bit of cold, or you feel it’s too hot, then riding a bike or building a startup is probably not for you.
- If it keeps raining maybe is time to go home and plan another trip. You prepare for your trip, you soldier on when it rained but maybe riding a bike in Alaska in winter is not such a good idea: time to go home, regroup and pivot.