Ana Santos
Ana SantosStarting from scratch

As a startup founder what was the moment you were almost giving up?

There are days when you question if it's worth it to keep pushing... how do you know when to stop? I get the basic stuff. But with $0 to spend or 1) your product is viral or 2) you have to go 'brick by brick'. Do you think 2nd one could be an option?
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@ana_m_p_santos ... I was about 6 years in and working long hours and the company was doing ok but it all seemed not worth it ... I was moving house and my parents were helping me move and I mentioned I was thinking of leaving the company and doing something else. That afternoon (only about an hour after the conversation) I got a call to say we had won a national software competition which lead to appearing on tv and then to investment. I took it as a sign to keep going and the company became a world leader in its vertical and later sold for $20M+ (quite a few years later).
@pgordon WOW that's quite a story! You were almost giving up when you won that prize. Tells me that luck is an important factor 🙂 of course we have to do our part ie. work hard. Thanks Paul.
@ana_m_p_santos $0? You are the lucky one ;) I mean it. Just don't stop. And also forget about product get viral. It's always a lot of work inside "lucky" projects. at least market research. I think you need to finish read this answers and go further! All will be fine... or not - but it'll be an interesting road. don't give up
@arthur_tkachenko Thanks a lot Arthur, really appreciate your answer. I need to read this a few times and put my shit together.
@ana_m_p_santos are you jogging? sometimes it's a good way to put your mind aside and find out a different way to solve a problem
@arthur_tkachenko Nop, I should definitely start something like that. Thanks for the tip.
@ana_m_p_santos To me, the stopping point would be mental health. I'll keep going as long as I'm healthy physically and mentally. Nothing is as valuable as your health! The brick by brick method is the way to go. Find one customer, make them happy and then proceed to the next. Eventually, you should be able to scale!
@cvelitchkov Thanks Christian. @arthur_tkachenko mentioned jogging, I believe for that same reason. Thanks guys! I definitely need to find some breathing space to keep me going.
@arthur_tkachenko @ana_m_p_santos Exercise is definitely a way to distress. My issue was that I quit exercising once I became too overwhelmed. My next goal is to find a physical activity to dedicate an hour a day to.
@cvelitchkov agree and dissagree.if we'll change "stopping point" by "point to lookback and think how to change(improve) something and continue" - i'll agree. But yeah, health is a king, motivation is sister.
@ana_m_p_santos I gave up when we ran out of money and we couldn't generate anymore. I hired an editor and a co-working space to work out from in Kent, UK. It was a great few months of growth, but quickly we found our competitors did not like us being around, and quickly worked to dominate us with their big budgets. We couldn't get enough investment to fight off this competition and stay afloat, and eventually I just had to give in. It's a tough world out there for Startups. Especially if you don't get a big seed round to fight off competition. Ash
@theashtube I totally see same happening with us if we don't get the seed round asap. Thanks for sharing Ash. It brings us down to earth.
@ana_m_p_santos I will stop when I do not have access to food and internet :)
@saran945 ahahah respect 👍
@ana_m_p_santos I almost gave up on my product which after a wonderful traction, stopped giving any revenues, and I completely ignored the product, until an idea struck and I created a bot instead. Today the bot has already started paying for my coffee. Hope it will do better in future. The bot is about learning a handpicked word a day the fun way with its meaning, usage example, and grammar. However, unfortunately its still not listed on Product Hunt. So, you can message me for the link to try out and learn more about it.
@ana_m_p_santos @sangeetjass why don’t you list it on Product Hunt yourself?
@ana_m_p_santos I don't have enough fingers to count the times I've given up in some capacity, but I also am very fortunate that I don't rely on investment to continue to try and succeed. Even when in my mind it's dead I always come back to my baby and try another approach. The key for me sticking with it has been not relying on others and having faith in myself. Hard as that can be, it is the only way for me to continue my journey of trying to change things.
@grizzlylonewolf I admire your resilience. To be honest my runaway it's pretty good. I have customers, and customer base is growing (a bit slow though.. but it's B2B). But investment sometimes comes as a validation ie. if there's smart people willing to put their money in your business it's because they believe it will succeed. And then there's always this question: what if a big player with big pockets comes to your target market and replicates what you're doing... as happened to Ash (@theashtube) - one of the comments above. Anyway, I think the answer is passion :) you need to be passionate about it to keep going no matter what.
@ana_m_p_santos , I think these guys had an interesting take on when to shut down: Incidentally they decided to shut down the same day that my partner and I started to contemplate it. We're still discussing it as the economics of our idea still hold, however the markets (potential customers), don't value the product (big problem).
@chris_garand thanks for the article. A product customers love + good economics from the beginning it's the golden combination. Was a good read, I end up felling engaged with the brand (great values!).
@ana_m_p_santos After pursing partnerships and they pushed things out and turned to no's. I felt I give up...or do it myself. I then decided, do it myself and did. Mark Zuckerberg said just build it, break things, just do it. I did.
@ah_ha_trivia thanks. Maybe that's it. Similar quote from Nelson Mandela who said 'It always seems impossible until it's done'. I'll do it 🙂
@ana_m_p_santos welcome to the Club :D. If it is your first experience with 0$ it is more easy to choose the second way and focus to have success story customer by customer. Stop is when customer refuse your product but try again to create loveable product. For the first way 'viral' you should have more ability of risk.
@ana_m_p_santos i'm agreeing with you, though it's never easy have to decide that. Health is really the most important thing, but besides that I think nothing could make me give up. Every solution got's his answer, sometimes you just need to take a step back & look from a different angle
Thanks @betty_coene. Yup, you're right. But I do ask the question... if this gets me nowhere looking back would I do it anyway? Still a yes :) And you touched an important point: Health, physical and mental health, that's key.
@ana_m_p_santos it really depends on your inner purpose as a founder of starting the company. So for me giving up means putting aside something that didn't work and moving to the next experiment / feature / product. But the purpose / goal / mission is still there. It's the means to get there that change. Because of that whenever I feel something failed I look at it as a micro failure v.s a macro failure.
Thanks @albertpinhasov, I do get what you're saying. But a good runway is needed to keep expenses going.
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