"What does it feel like when managing a startup?"
That's a question I often get from people contemplating doing a real new enterprise.
Here is my opinion: Regardless of size, industry, ambitions, country and finances, the following is the metaphor best describing the emotions you will feel when doing a startup the first time:
It's felt by serial startup leaders also, not just first-timers.
It is part of the emotional rush felt every day by leaders of new enteprises. They enjoy it.
Others are repulsed by it and set out to "fix the startup."
- Some attempt to "get this thing under control" and fail miserably.
- Others try to apply MBA large corporate lessons and flounder.
- Some seek to use heirachy to establish chains of commands and find that falls flat.
- Rules and commands and policies are put in place but fade to forgotten status with the next crisis.
Serial entrepreneurs instead embrace the metaphor.
- Let the organization shape itself.
- Keep people focused on delivering the next big milestone.
- Establish loose boundaries that respect individuals while giving general guidelines for behavior.
- Encourage innovators, discourage excessive controllers.
There is a fundamental reason for this metaphor: You don't know how the startup will turn out!
BOTTOM LINE: Let the bicycle metaphor encourage you as you embark on doing your startup. Yes, it will feel very disturbing at first, but as time progresses, you can get used to it. Its best results come when people are excited about achieving that next big milestone while feeling free to innovate, create and get things done regardless of constraints typically imposed by managers of large corporations. When you can work emotionally this way, you will be well on your way to building an unair competitive advantage.
I wish you The Best on your Adventure!