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Going All In: Part II

Last night we held the 9th meeting of Startup Lancaster, a group of 30 tech-based startup founders from the region.

We got into a conversation about going all in, and I think there were varying definitions of what it means to do that.

One person had just quit their job and will be consulting three out of four weeks per month.  The fourth week is his free week. Not a bad way to live, but I wondered whether he could really have a free week, and if that’s enough to move things forward.

Another person worried that his product wasn’t ready for him to be full time yet, and since he can’t code, how would it make sense to go full time?

It’s a good question–what does a full-time non-technical founder do before the product’s ready for show and tell?

I feel there’s plenty to do–talk with prospects, develop relationships with press, keep dev focused on the mvp, research more, develop surveys, talk with prospects again, etc, etc. It’s a great time to ramp.

Most people had different levels of pain tolerance, or rather, risk tolerance. One works 2 days a week so she can spend 5 days a week on the startup. That’s a smart idea if you can pull it off.

At some point you have to pull the trigger. People that might want to work with you need to see it. Investors need to see it. They all want to see that you’re fully committed and figured out how to make that jump.

But it isn’t easy without capital. I admire the people who are able to make it happen without external capital–it’s entirely possible.

And recently I’ve thought of expanding my consulting, adding to the team, and leveraging that to create a buffer big enough to have another team working on product.

And then I remember how hard it is to serve two masters. One is always stealing from the other. It’s very hard to advance your product when your services team has a lucrative deal that needs your product guys.

Very nice conversation–we have a great group of founders and they all seem like they are getting close to going all in. It’s a joy to see.

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