Seven months ago, I had this crazy idea that I wanted to start 6 companies at the same time. Yeah, I get pretty excited sometimes. I crafted this dream that I could structure my time, my energy, and my money so effeiciently that it could be done. I had a vision that I could manage my time like a portfolio manager. “Sure, they may move slower,” I thought, “but if more things are moving, there is a greater chance for success.”
Here’s the rub. A slow moving startup is a motionless startup. To get a company turning, you have to apply 1000000% energy to get the massive flywheel moving at all, and then you have to keep applying that energy to keep it from stopping. It’s a beast of a task! Monumental! So the thought that I could push on one flywheel for a few hours of the week, then push another one, then push another one… well, the fact is that they just aren’t going to move. At all! Ever!
Some people have said to me this: Yeah, but if you put enough money into them you can… blah blah. That’s baloney! Money doesn’t grow companies. Time and energy do. Finding good co-founders, team members who will give the amount of energy needed to turn a motionless flywheel into a spinning flywheel is a needle in a haystack, or worse.
I give Dharmesh Shah, the co-founder of HubSpot the credit for the beginning of me figuring out this harsh reality. Dharmesh came and spoke to entrepreneurs at the EO NERVE conference in Atlanta. He told his exciting story of founding a company, having a good exit, then trying to found multiple companies all at once and failing miserably. He made the point that serial entrepreneurship is good… parallel entrepreneurship is next to impossible when your companies are the in startup/seed stage.
At the time, I was offended that he would call my brilliant plan of parallelism impossible, but turns out, as I grow Quench Network, I am having a blast, but I can’t imaging spending even 5 minutes of my time on anything but this one critical venture.
Oh and one more thing… Dharmesh’s talk was all about building traffic to your blog by (A) saying crazy things once in a while and (B) having amazing out-of-the-box blog post titles. So I hoped to do a little bit of that in his honor on this post. Just for a little more SEO Jazz, let me say it again, Dharmesh Shah Punched me in the Gut!
(Wait, who would ever be searching that phrase!? If you are here from a search on Dharmesh punching someone in the stomach, you are sick and I am frightened.)