I’m writing this post very late at night from a room at the Comfort Inn in Palo Alto. This trip was hastily arranged, with a jam-packed schedule. I just heard from a dear friend that he is really hurt that I didn’t let him know I was coming to the Bay Area. He took it personally. And I managed to piss off a couple other good friends for the same reason. It’s nice that they actually want to see me (or at least they USED to want to see me), but…this brings me to the worst thing about founding a company.
Or at least the thing I most dislike.
The very worst thing is not having space to be a good friend–to my friends or siblings. Unless you’ve done this founding thing yourself, it’s impossible to understand why that would be so. I mean, how hard/different/consuming can it be to start a company vs. work in one? Well, a lot. A whole lot.
Everyone is busy. Everyone is overloaded. But this is different. It takes over your brain. I mean it TAKES IT OVER. That is a bigger deal than the sheer work demands. And being a good friend takes time, and meaningful thought.
So, relationships get squeezed. Making excuses is lame and boring. But it takes really, really exceptionally loyal, patient, and good friends to put up with you when you might be behaving like a figment of their imagination. I’m grateful for my pals who try to understand this. And I hope I can make it up to the ones who can’t. (I don’t blame them. Not a bit. In their shoes, I might figure I was just bad at time management, or suddenly thoughtless and uncaring.)
But this friendship squeeze is harder for me than taking risks, or raising money, or creating something from nothing.