#42 — Starting vs Continuing

This week I started a fun new project called Peer Signal. It won’t take up space here, but I’d appreciate your help sharing if you think it’s interesting. 🙏

This led me to reflect on the challenge of starting vs the challenge of continuing.

For context, I’d like to co-found another SaaS startup in the not-too-distant future. Not exactly sure what, when, or how. But, I know that it takes both starting and continuing.

In my mind, starting is like putting your gym clothes on and doing the first set in a new routine. That’s a real hurdle. Continuing is completing the routine every damn day. That takes even more gumption.

Here’s my half-baked learning on each…

On Starting

What I’ve learned about starting — it gets 100x easier if I don’t get too scared about embarrassment. When playing a bad round of golf, my grandpa would tell me that “nobody else really cares about your score, so just find it and hit it again.” And Scott Adam’s book really nailed this point for me:

“A lack of fear of embarrassment is what allows one to be proactive. It’s what makes a person take on challenges that others write off as too risky. It’s what makes you take the first step before you know what the second step is.”

For example, do you remember that terrible video series I started in 2017? Of course not! It was garbage. But since nobody actually cared, the perceived risk of embarrassment wasn’t even real.

On Continuing

What I’ve learned about continuing — there is always a dip. Doesn’t matter if it’s a product, app, podcast, or parenting strategy. Dip happens. I became aware of this idea from Seth Godin’s little book appropriately named The Dip and then couldn’t unsee the pattern. He says:

“The Dip is the long stretch between beginner’s luck and real accomplishment.”

He shows that almost every investment of effort takes this shape:

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that you can overlay this curve on Geoffrey Moore’s crossing the chasm, Gartner’s hype cycle, and probably a ton of other frameworks.

What have you found helps start and/or continue?

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Omri Mor (Co-Founder and CEO at Routable) talks about customer discovery, raising his $30M series B, and avoiding assumptions.