For most people, it’s hard to do anything. There are always obstacles, from daily jobs to life decisions. They fears everything, if I did this wrong I would lose the job, if I lost the job I would not find the way to make my life. The same tough feelings also apply to startup founders, they are afraid of failures, of not being able to attract customers, of failing to satisfy investors, of being copied by Google or Facebook. They usually give up very soon.
In contrast, there are a few people who fears nothing and are always passionate about what they do. Along with the anticipating IPO of Airbnb, Paul Graham wrote a nice post about its founders, praising their earnestness. They never give up, even when none likes their idea, neither the investor nor the user. With zero growth, they are still full of energy that it was impossible not to like them.
The difference between these two kind of people is not that simple, not obvious but huge. Those hard people fears everything because the imagined obstacles, they imagine losing job after they made some changes so they lose the opportunity of improvements, they imagine a large varieties of failures so they don’t found any startups or give up their business sooner than anyone else. However the other kind of people are even not aware of all the obvious obstacles that almost everyone can see. Like the Airbnb founders, full of energy when it’s obvious that none likes their idea. They even did this for almost 2 years all on their credit cards.
They have fully maxed-out their credit cards for more than a year, lost money and time, they saw people around them made great and quick IPO, they were told by investors that another idea would make them rich like rocket. They didn’t give up. Paul believes one clear reason is that they weren’t doing this just for the money. It’s the motive, the nature of the founders.
I have written about my thoughts on investment and on building a company, the metaphor is simplicity and consistent, to do a simple thing for a long term.
On investment, it’s betting on the things you believe in and believe in it for decades, ignore all news and signals, ready to lose all so that you can believe in it, believe in it so that you are ready to lose all. I don’t do serious investments at all, just Tesla, Snap, Bitcoin and Monero, all of them are the products I love from the very beginning. I put money in them not for money, never for money, for the belief in something. I believe in and love the future of electric energy, I love how Tesla and Snap make uncountable innovations. I believe in and love the freedom of Bitcoin and Monero are offering. I put money in my belief, not for money. I know I won’t lose and ready to lose all, for decades.
On building a company, it’s doing the things you believe in and are willing to spend 200 percent of your time and money on making them. My passion on the freedom, privacy and security of messaging and money, has driven me to make Mixin, now it’s already 3 years. I have never had any moment of feeling tired or giving up. I’m always excited on the future I am building. Only thus, I can do such a simple product for years, without adding any new features, all work is on making the current feature set better and better. Otherwise, I would become a normal founder who was a master at adding features and pivoting. It’s my motive on building a company that makes me believe in simplicity is fast, and slowness is fast.
Everyone has a motive to do things, most people do investment to make money, do startup to make money. They may succeed. But my motive is always my belief in the things, no doubt, ever.