Why Not to do a Startup
Marc Andreessen (of Netscape fame) has recently started blogging and he's really good at it.
If you're thinking of starting (or working at) a start up, you should go read this.
Here's a taste:
HT to Fred
Second, in a startup, absolutely nothing happens unless you make it happen.
This one throws both founders and employees new to startups.
In an established company -- no matter how poorly run or demoralized -- things happen. They just happen. People come in to work. Code gets written. User interfaces get designed. Servers get provisioned. Markets get analyzed. Pricing gets studied and determined. Sales calls get made. The wastebaskets get emptied. And so on.
A startup has none of the established systems, rhythms, infrastructure that any established company has.
In a startup it is very easy for the code to not get written, for the user interfaces to not get designed... for people to not come into work... and for the wastebaskets to not get emptied.
You as the founder have to put all of these systems and routines and habits in place and get everyone actually rowing -- forget even about rowing in the right direction: just rowing at all is hard enough at the start.
And until you do, absolutely nothing happens.