The startup rollercoaster

Last week we launched Speak on ProductHunt, there were a few days packed full of energy - many comments of positivity and praise on the design, hundreds of teams signed up, lots of issues were reported (and quickly fixed), our servers were even briefly overloaded with traffic!

Almost two weeks later and we’re now experiencing the quiet after the storm. Every day has had a different vibe (at least, in my head) and my mood is vastly affected on an hourly basis by the feedback we receive and metrics we track… it’s hard to keep an even keel. As is often the case, Paul Graham puts it best:

"In a startup, things seem great one moment and hopeless the next. And by next, I mean a couple hours later.”

Personally I think this is one of the most difficult times in a startups formative stages, and it's easy to lose heart. You have a few users, not enough to get excited, some retention, but not enough to be ecstatic, and requests pulling you in every direction from those that did signup and want you to solve their very specific problems.

Dan Shipper found the perfect analogy in that of a stock trader - if you constantly check how your stocks are performing then there is just as much chance of them being down as up, even if the longterm pattern is one of positivity and growth.

An acute awareness of this is the biggest step to dealing with it. Talk to customers, track and celebrate the small wins and keep plugging away at building something great!