The Hardest Thing is Giving Away

You always end up with less when working at an early-stage startup

People working in startups are all so familiar with the concept of giving away responsibilities. Whenever you start in a startup, you can count on the fact that you’re role is changing all the time. Regardless of whether responsibilities shift downwards or sideways, they are inevitable moving somewhere.

Your startup starts out with 3-4 people who do everything. Slowly, new people are added, roles are carved out, and responsibilities are limited. With each new influx of people these roles are reevaluated and the same ritual starts again.

The same applies as the company grows your personal capabilities are constantly evaluated. Your position within the company is constantly shifting and changing. The company often grows faster than you’re personal growth can keep up with. Or your role is carved up in 2 or 3 different roles and you have to choose between them.

All these things have nothing to do with failure or underperformance. It is about making the company grow as fast as possible while keeping everything manageable. But I can tell from experience it is sometimes hard to let go. Even it is going downwards instead of sideways. You might be end-responsible, but someone else is actually executing it. It is not the same.

It is for this reason that startups are not for everyone. You need to adapt and be comfortable with adapting. You have to embrace change and you need to be comfortable with finding your own limitations. But more so, nothing better to run into this because of the company you work is successful and growing up. On the end of the day, there is nothing more satisfying than bringing something to the world which is self-sustaining and impacting the world in its own way.