Time to sum up 2020. I'm tech person who just discontinued a side project started at the end of 2018. I have invested some of my money into it. But mostly invested my time implementing all of the stuff (apps, web, automation, etc) behind the idea. Startup was in B2C area and it focused on custom made tshirts from Instagram profiles.
My background is software development and I worked as senior engineer, tech lead and CTO like position. It's not my first failed idea and also there was at least one successful. But this one was different. I thought I knew all I needed to run it successfully and tried to run by the books. The process is not so important as my take aways are.
And I feel sharing them can be useful and pretty obvious at the same time.
After running a longer 'what went wrong' session, I discovered I and my 'Ego' were ones be blamed.
Founder's Ego Trap
tl/dr ego is the worst enemy of a technical founder — Hi there, I'm not!
ego denies its existence — They are all wrong, you don’t have any issues — carry on.
ego overrates technical side — Do a great software and they will come.
ego compares you with others — Oh look — that guy over there is way better. I bet he did his product in single approach!
ego pulls you away from non-technical tasks — Marketing, validation, feedback — who needs this! Great app will defend itself
ego preys on your anxiety — You should do it better. 'They' expect perfection. Iterations are for weak.
ego will always overrate tiny missing feature — Without that N-th feature your app is useless.
ego will stretch your MVP — People love to have more options. MVPs are for weak
ego will trap you in endless technical considerations — You should do it better. Try to micro-optimize it. What will happen when millions of users come?
ego doesn’t like you doing stuff you are not best at — You know nothing about marketing. Don't spend time learning it — you're a great developer so let's stretch that MVP instead.
ego will always find someone to blame — People were unable to see a value. It's their fault
ego will find reasons why you shouldn’t ship — Wait! We are still missing something — that one unique feature.
ego looks for praise, doesn’t like validation and criticism — Don’t hurt me! You are nothing without me.
ego will push you away from current project to new better one — Look there is a new, better opportunity. You have already done a hard tasks. Leave it.
ego expects you to create something revolutionary/unique — look at that code/tech/(...)! we can extend it and make a library — people are waiting for it!
ego makes you focus on future celebrations not on road to them — after we succeed, we will …
All the best in 2021