Introspecting the Doldrums
Revelation: I have been dealing with bouts of "startup depression" for most of the year.
My mood swings are not going to kill me, and they are not going to kill PageKite either... the feeling of futility, darkness and despair isn't constant, but it is way more frequent than I would like.
Startup depression is the only reason PageKite isn't fun all the time; when it is bad I just want to give up and do something else.
It's a bit weird and surreal, because when I ask myself why I am so upset, I usually don't know the answer. The problem solver in me considers this to be a very serious matter. How can I fix the problem if I do not know what it is?
I think in the end, I suspect it is mostly about ego. I created PageKite and I have in a very public way bet on it. No matter how it goes, I am now the PageKite guy. Whether that the venture succeeds or not reflects pretty directly on me.
Or at least that is how it feels.
My brain knows this is false: whether we succeed or fail at making a sustainable business depends on many factors that are out of my control: luck, timing, whether we find enough like-minded people to build a community and a team. It's not all my fault. But it is tempting to feel like it is.
There are other factors too: money is a minor one, being proven wrong (or irrelevant) in my misgivings about the cloud is another. The fear that some competitor will show tomorrow up and solve the same problem in a dramatically better way... there's lots to worry about, if I am thus inclined. The trick is to avoid the temptation.