You make a good point and I think it’s something that Josh Elman told me once, “Why aren’t their more joiners?”
It’s as if the explosion of Angel investing has robbed every good startup of their middle management layer.
I definitely think that layer is a natural fit for my temperament and skill set. I was a good engineering manager back in the day and now, with so much broader experience… I sometimes picture how good I could be.
I don’t want to.
That’s what it keeps coming back to.
I’ve had those jobs and I know the they all miss one thing. It’s very hard to satisfy your curiosity.
I’m constantly thinking, “What would happen if this existed?” And because I’m the boss and reasonably adept at building things I can just go out and fill that curiosity.
When I work for other people, my sense of duty overrides my sense of curiosity. I think that’s the main reason I don’t go join someone else.
None of that makes me a good founder though. I’d be more successful if I was tuned more closely to my “heat seeking missile.”
As for this company — it sucked to shrink. And that went on for more than a year.
But I could also always see a future where the company could be profitable and act as a launch pad. Owning the means of production is great!
The alternative of starting from scratch, not having a salary, no users, no infrastructure… That scared me more than quitting.