Contrasts starkly with Ron Conway's advice at Startup School: https://youtu.be/qvHhhIfu7Lo?t=4m21s
"Paul Graham: So how can they tell? How can these people, you know it would save them a lot of trouble if you tell could tell them now whether they are going to succeed in starting a startup. How can they tell if they are driven enough?
Ron Conway: Well I mean are you willing to work 24/7. The really great entrepreneurs are 24/7. The word moonlighting is not even in their vocabulary. I mean if they are dating somebody or they are married, they warn their spouse that they are not first in line. That this company dream is first in line and that you have this vocation. It's like being a priest or a nun that your duty is to your company. No, it has to be that fanatical and if you look at all the successful entrepreneurs they are that committed about it. That is a hard commitment, but once you are willing to make that commitment then it solves the work ethic check off. If you have that commitment then your passion is probably infectious. It probably means you can in fact find other people and make them as excited about your idea as you are."
Couple things briefly.
The only time to do something important is right now. If you found the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, marry them. Today. Life won’t wait.
Secondly, the culture of startup Uber alles is real dubious and I question the wisdom of dedicating yourself 100% without question to a group of venture capitalists who are, bluntly, counting on most of you to fail. Trust is reciprocal. Don’t get too far out over your skis- this is business and managing resources and risk is your job. I’ve been doing this long enough to know that you are costantly triaging your time and energy, and without a strong sense of priorities and boundaries, you will be totally consumed by the endless cycle of other people’s wants. There are a lot of people who will tell you to go all in and sacrifice everything for the company. I think most of those people have an agenda that is serving their interests over yours.
Lastly, man, I work real hard and have for a long time. You have a ceiling where your hours are going to get real soft efficiency wise on a consistent basis. You can go 60 hours a week with a family. Very few people can put more than that number of hours in at their job without experiencing a real sharp productivity dip in their per hour output. I would submit that most of the folks going 80, 100, 120 a week for sustained periods of time are getting nothing they couldn’t have with a disciplined, 100% focused schedule and a family. They’re selling out the only life they’ve got for a handful of sloppy meetings or ugly code. Go home and have dinner with your kids. Hug your husband. Get a couple hours in on the weekend. Delegate more stuff, better. Focus on finding and executing what’s going to move the needle, and cut out the rest.
I am a single founder and married. I work much harder and more effectively with my wife around and supporting me. And I also feel much better as a person supporting her. Plus she’s really smart. If anything, being married is an especially good idea of you are a solo founder!
I'm not sure I understand the message of this article. Is it just that people in a (good) marriage have better (emotional, financial) support systems, and are therefore happier? The subtitle would lead me to believe that the article is encouraging founders who are single to seek out a marriage just so they can strain it in the name of their startup. Treating your spouse like a weird type of employee is all kinds of unethical.
Like, who is this article for? Are there single founders in committed relationships who aren't taking the next step because they fear they'll break the ranks of stereotypcial single founders? Founders in bad marriages (which I would believe make up a decent portion of them) know that their work isn't helping their relationship, and those in good marriages already know this.
Sometimes you just need stability in your personal life in order to take risks in your professional life. It's not necessarily about financial stability, it could just be about emotional stability.
Having a genuine relationship with someone is a good way to stay grounded in your perception of all other human relationships.
Too many times in life, people just want to exploit you; if you don't have a model of what a healthy relationship looks like then soon enough you will be surrounded with the wrong kind of people and you won't even realize it.
I assume all advantages of being married (being healthier, happier, even richer) depend on marrying the right person for you. I also assume that if a single founder already found the right person he/she is not single anymore. And I assume at last that finding the right person is not just a matter of wanting to do it.
All that to say that the article shouldnt have being framed as "advice for single founders", but as just a commentary of this social aspect of founders.
I'm recently divorced. Now I have an article telling me I'm going to be more unhappy and more prone to heart attacks.
Many successful companies have been started by people who were family-people. Some of them also worked only 8 hours per day. Of course, some days are longer, but most are not.
It comes down to setting boundaries, doing the right thing for yourself and your customers and believing in yourself.
If the reason your startup failed is because you weren't 24/7, then trust me, there were many other reasons why your startup failed.
While I've heard the married = happier + healthier arguments for some time, are we sure that the cause is marriage, or some other trait heavily correlated with marriage, or that we've not reversed cause and effect?
Everybody, regardless of profession, should put off marriage.
A marriage contract is the worst – often wildly lopsided – contract people can enter into. Family courts are corrupted by the revolving door of judges and divorce lawyers.
Having a significant other is one of the best things an entrepreneur can obtain. It saves countless hours and money on weekends. No need to go out to a club or bar hoping to get lucky. When you have someone at right at home you can focus more on your business and getting work done.
I'll keep it short and sweet. Family, religion, friendship. These are the three demons you must slay if you wish to succeed in business. When opportunity knocks, you don't want to be driving to a maternity hospital or sitting in some phony-baloney church. Or synagogue.
The author doesnt seem to know much about startups or women. Infact my guess is that he gets everything exactly wrong. This is 'sounds good' advice which is horribly wrong.
The single biggest problem most single founders will find is actually trying to date in the first place. Most women arent keen to marry founders at all. If a single founder does in fact marry, he will have a very hard time keeping the marriage or focussing on his startup whenever he has monetary issues. Single founders putting marriage off can be a very sane decision most of the times.