Founder Stupidity

Founders are core to the company they create. They are supposed to smart, great in problem-solving, and at some level should be able to visualize the future. I recently had some one talk to me about how much he admires other founders and why founders are so great. While I was happy to take the credits, I wish I could tell him how stupid, dumb, and idiotic we were during the early days of our company.

The best story I could remember was this one about Jezz Bezos on how stupid he was during his early days. It is very humbling to hear this kind of story from him.

While I am no way comparable with Jezz Bezos, I remember so many of my early stupidest moments. To my defense, this was very very early and all I knew about building a company is coding a website using the LAMP stack.

This was a conversation I had with one of my friends at that time. I don’t think he will remember this now, but I still remember it as if this happened yesterday. This is how the conversation went on when we all met for lunch.

Manu: Congrats on launching the website. Hope your company grows much bigger and goes public.
Hari: Thanks, Manu. Btw, we are already public. The website is live. You can check it at www.interviewstreet.com
Manu: Err, I know. But that’s not what I meant. That’s ok. Congrats anyway
Hari: Sure, Thanks.
Alagu: Hari, taking the company public means going IPO.
Hari: Ohhhhhhh!

I wish I could go back in time and undo this conversation. The only consoling fact is that these are folks who never judge me on how stupid I was. They were constantly eager to teach me whatever I didn’t know and 10 years later, I’m still learning. 🙂

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