About a year ago I wrote about Why I love my job. Time flies and another 12 months have gone by, and I am here to say it again one more time - I love my job and I love being a part of Oxygen Cloud.
Trying to work at a startup isn't easy. Trying to build a truly game-changing new technology platform isn't easy. Trying to change the world isn't easy. Trying to get the team to stick together and focus isn't easy. There are a lot of challenges, and sorry none of it is ever going to be easy.
Sometimes I think people in the Silicon Valley have a somewhat skewed or false sense of perception of what working at the startup really is about. Everyone "knows" someone who works at Facebook, everyone "knows" a friend who is doing another startup that is about to get funding, everyone "knows" someone who knows someone... etc etc. Everyone reads TechCrunch and you hear about all the new "hot" startups being "successful" after launching within a few months or a year - getting more money, getting more users, etc. But ask any of the writers and bloggers about their flooded email inbox - for every startup they choose to cover there are dozens and hundreds more who have pitched them about their new ideas and all the glorious hopes and dreams that the entrepremeur has for the new company. There are so many more startups out there trying to make it but you never hear about them. And even more have failed. And you almost never read about those either.
Recently Ben Horowitz wrote an article on TechCrunch called The Struggle. It's a great read about what all entrepreneurs go through as they start their business. Honestly I think a lot of that struggle also applies to us working at a startup. It applies to the ones who believe in the vision, the ones working tirelessly to improve the product, the ones who constantly think about what we can do better to become successful while we're in the shower, on the bus, and even over family dinner.
Ben made a good point -
"The Struggle is not failure, but it causes failure. Especially if you are weak. Always if you are weak.
Most people are not strong enough."
So true. So many have left us during my 3+ years here at Oxygen. It's not easy to keep holding on and keep trying to grind it out when the first (or second, or even third) launch doesn't result in some highly anticipated overnight success. It's not easy trying to innovate when it seems like everyone is trying to do the same thing, and there is a new competitor launching every other week. It's not easy to generate awareness and momentum. It's not easy to execute and release your product as planned without hiccups.
But at the same time many more have joined us on our journey as well. We share the same vision and we work together to achieve our goals. Oxygen is a home away from home, my team is my family. When we do make it, the sense of accomplishment knowing that we've made a difference -- a real difference that matters, that changes the future of work, will make all the struggle now worthwhile.
So don't be a sheep. Join us and let's be strong together. It's not going to be easy, but it's going to be worth it.