Founders of a Startup have to overcome many obstacles. Lack of money is the primary one. They may have a limited amount of time to get their product to market before a competitor beats them to it. Most times they have to create something completely new. They incur technical debt like it’s going out of fashion. The early adopters are their first line of testing.
Dealing with these obstacles requires a particular type of person. It needs a survivalist mindset. Get the feature completed at any cost. Work around the clock. Cut corners. Be very frugal. Think short term. The Startup might not be around next week.
So what happens when a Startup graduates to being a Company? It could be that it receives around of funding. Or it could be purchased by another company. Or it could IPO on the stock exchange. Whatever the impetus, the conditions under which the Startup was founded have changed dramatically. The direction which it needs to take has also changed.
There now needs to be long term strategic growth. There maybe be overlords to appease. There maybe shareholders to payback. They usually need to make massive profit instead of just surviving. They need to payback all the technical debt the was accrued along the way so they can build on the platform they’ve created. They will need to hire more employees. The way they manage these employees will be different to the way they managed their only two employees. These are completely new challenges to the Startup founders.
Take a person who has lived through a great depression. They are forever scarred by the lack of resources such as food, money and employment. They might still hoard food to this day even though the conditions under which that might have been useful have long ceased. I think Startup founders have a similar problem. They can’t continue to operate in the way they always have. The landscape has changed.
Transitioning from a Startup to a Company can be jarring. It is a hard thing to do. This is somewhat unexpected as becoming a Company seems to be the end of existing struggle. It’s also the start of a completely new one.