How Many Hours Does It REALLY Take To Start A Company?

This week the hosts debate how many hours per week it takes to bootstrap a company. Other topics include politics and podcasting, SOC 2 compliance, and whether to treat free accounts the same as paid accounts. Also, in light of current events, we are taking a brief hiatus after this episode.


Full Transcript:

Ben:
As I was getting this morning and reading Twitter and just... Twitter. Something that's come up lately, and Justin Jackson has talked about this, and there's a couple other people who have talked about this. On Twitter this morning, it was being talked about. But that's the idea of staying in your lane.

Ben:
If you're a technologist, and typically your podcast is all about business or whatever. I'm just talking about us, right? Then you should stay in your lane and not talk about current events, whatever. People said that to Justin Jackson as he's been talking about equity and the environment. Some of the things that are concerns to him, and things that he likes to think about and talk about.

Ben:
I was thinking about that this morning, and I was like, "Well, we could talk about current events on our podcast. There's no reason why we couldn't." Then I thought, "Well, except that, you know what? Maybe this is just a nice break for people that just have too much news in their lives. They can turn to FounderQuest, reassured that they won't have to deal with all the garbage that's going on." We just talk about happy things here.

Josh:
This is the escape.

Starr:
I think we're probably not taking an official stance on the staying in your lane thing.

Josh:
No.

Starr:
Honestly, this is kind of my break, and I don't want to have arguments during it. I don't really want to debate serious topics right now, because everything is just on fire. I guess that's our way of saying that even though this seems to be the worst possible timeline. I read this morning that the monkeys stole the coronavirus samples from the lab and are running wild with them.

Josh:
Sounds legit.

Starr:
Which is the plot of a Terry Gillian movie. Yeah, yeah. If you haven't seen, what is it, 12 Monkeys, there you go-

Ben:
Oh, that's a good movie.

Starr:
Yeah, it is. I don't know. I guess this is to say, we're all affected by it, but we're not... I don't know.

Josh:
As much as we want to be.

Starr:
I see some people, and people are just plowing ahead with React is... Here's my hot take on React right now. It's like, nobody really wants to hear that right now. Maybe they do, I don't know. It's just hard.

Josh:
I've been blowing up our Twitter channel with hot takes lately.

Ben:
Yeah, yeah, Josh is all about the anti-React this week.

Josh:
Not really hot takes, but.

Starr:
Is that the anti-poke?

Josh:
Oh, yeah, you mean my blog? The blog thing?

Ben:
Yeah, the blog thing. That was pretty cool.

Josh:
Yeah, it's been... I don't know if you caught it, Starr, but I've been kind of just working on my blog a little bit. Playing around with things lately. I use Jekyll, but I hadn't updated it in a long time, so I migrated my assets and stuff to webpack and did some stuff to kind of modernize a little bit. I decided I didn't want to go too far with the modernization, and kind of see how far I could get.

Josh:
A lot of people are using their blogs, rebuilding their blogs in JAMstack to kind of play with Gatsby or some of these newer front-end frameworks. I thought it would be fun to do kind of the opposite. See how close I could get to the performance that you see with one of these more modern frameworks, with just old school technology. I'm using just Jekyll and Turbolinks, and I got this cool prefetch script that will do prefetching of links if you hover over them with your mouse for 400 milliseconds or whatever, which kind of speeds up.

Starr:
Oh, cool.

Josh:
Really, it kind of turns it into a... It feels like a single page app, but it's just a webpage.

Starr:
That's really cool. I actually, fun fact, we had that at Honeybadger before we moved to Jekyll, we had a little prefetch thing.

Josh:
Yeah, I'm actually, I've been planning on-

Starr:
Not Jekyll, I meant Turbolinks.

Josh:
Turbolinks.

Starr:
Before we went to Turbolinks

Josh:
We have the pjax setup. I remember that, it was a jQuery prefetch plugin or something.

Starr:
Yeah, no, I wrote it.

Josh:
Did you write it? Okay.

Starr:
It was Starr's prefetch blue plate special.

Josh:
Yeah, that was cool.

Starr:
I eventually disabled it because it was hard to get right. I really got tricky after a while and I don't know. I was being too tricky, and it turns out, the world doesn't really appreciate that.

Josh:
I think that's why it hasn't been officially added to Turbolinks. When I was digging through, trying to figure out how to do it, which is what led my to this gist that someone made. There's a bunch of issues on the Turbolink's GitHub repo, talking about it. It's not that it will never get added, but I'm assuming it's a difficult thing to implement or something like that, for everyone. I don't know.

Starr:
I forget what the issues were. For blog, it seems like it would be pretty straightforward though, because it's just webpages.

Josh:
Yeah, it's working pretty well on mine. It's fun. I've been meaning to move that stack-

Starr:
I saw that you-

Josh:
... over to our blog, too. Eventually I'll apply the same optimizations to the Honeybadger website.

Starr:
Cool. We don't currently use Jekyll, are you talking about moving it to Jekyll as well?

Josh:
No, just the front end. It's simple to install Turbolinks and maybe some prefetching on things. And do some optimizations. Have you looked at PurgeCSS at all?

Starr:
No, I haven't, but I really like the name, so tell me what that is.

Josh:
It does what it says. Basically, it removes... So, it analyzes, once you build, if you have your HTML built already, or in the case of Jekyll if you're generating it. You build your HTML and your assets, like your CSS and stuff, then it analyzes all of your CSS usage. Then it purges the CSS that you're not using.

Josh:
Imagine if you're using Tailwind or Bootstrap or something, and you're importing the entire framework, right? Well, you're not necessarily using a lot of that framework, so you're having to download, everyone's downloading a bunch of useless CSS, basically. This removes the unwanted stuff.

Starr:
Is this something that is in webpack? How does it do that?

Josh:
It's a third party project, but they have a webpack plug-in. It just plugs in.

Starr:
Okay. So it's back-end code, though?

Josh:
Yeah.

Starr:
I thought for a second, because it has CSS in the name and a lot of times that means it's a CSS package, or whatever.

Josh:
Oh, yeah, no.

Starr:
Like Bootstrap, so I was like, "How is this doing?"

Josh:
This is a build tool.

Starr:
"What have they added to CSS since I last boned up on it?" I don't know.

Josh:
Yeah, it's a build. It's a build tool. Disclaimer, I'm new. I'm just starting to play with this, so if I butchered the description or something, I'm sorry. But as far as I know, that's what it does. It's pretty cool. It reduced... I forget, my CSS, the bundle wasn't huge to begin with, but I think it reduced it from six or 7k three to four. If you are importing something like a large CSS framework, I imagine that's a big savings.

Starr:
I have to ask, how does it know which CSS tags are being used and which ones aren't? Does it have to be used with a static site generator and it goes through all the generated pages, or how does it do it?

Josh:
I don't know for sure how it works on the backend or how it's implemented. From what I can tell, it actually... I think it actually needs to have your HTML wherever it is. I think it could technically analyze your views, or if you have a source, your source HTML or templates or something. I think it can work off of that? What I'm doing, because Jekyll, it's generating all of the HTML for markdown, I just pointed it at the site generate directory, the destination directory. Then it just analyzes the entire build after the webpack and Jekyll do their thing.

Starr:
That makes sense.

Josh:
It just works from the production build. I don't know, it seems to work. Everything looks like it did before adding it, and the bundle is a lot smaller, so.

Ben:
I got introduced to that this week, as well. I started playing with Tailwind for the first time, in depth.

Josh:
Yeah, they use Purge.

Ben:
Yep, as part of the default.

Starr:
Would you mind giving a little overview of Tailwind?

Ben:
Tailwind is a pretty neat CSS framework. It takes a different approach to say something like Bootstrap. Where Bootstrap would, say, give you different classes like card, or table, or things that apply a bunch of styles to give you a certain look, Tailwind is, I guess, one way you could say it is a bit lower level? In that you define those kinds of looks that you want on the actual elements themselves. Instead of a card class, you can say, "Oh, I want this to be rounded," so there's a rounded kind of class.

Ben:
There's a whole bunch of selectors, as you might imagine, because of all the thing that you can look. Tech center, things like that. It's really neat. You know, I've been using Bootstrap forever, and it's nice to... Tailwind is kind of a breath of fresh air, because as a developer, I'm not hip to all of the design stuff all the time. I was always just digging into the Bootstrap reference. Like, oh, what was that card thing again? Do I have to have a card title and a card body? I just never memorized all those special class names I was supposed to use.

Ben:
Tailwind, I don't have to remember stuff. It's like, oh, do I want margin? Okay, it's MY-2, and now I get two elements of spacing in the Y direction. That's just easier for me to remember, so I can do automx and things like that, and it's great.

Starr:
Oh, that's great.

Starr:
There's two ways of viewing a CSS framework, which one is to do components and stuff. It's kind of what bootstrap does, and the other is to do a utility type framework, which is what Tailwind does. I personally haven't used Tailwind, but I've used the utility approach just with my own sort of cobbled together utility stuff, and I actually kind of really like that. That's how the last time I rebuilt our sales site, that's how I did it, and I really enjoyed doing it that way just because you can read the HTML and tell what it does as opposed to... It's like, okay, I know this has a class of new hero five, and it's like, "What the hell does that mean?" Okay, now I've got to go search all the CSS files for that.

Starr:
It's impossible. The only way to tell what style is actually going to be applied to that thing, at least as far as I'm concerned, is to go in and inspect it in the browser and see all the inheritance because it's just the way there's no structure to CSS inheritance, who really knows? Who really knows?

Ben:
That's been fun. Been a nice change of pace.

Josh:
Yeah, that's cool.

Starr:
Didn't you use Tailwind for some side project recently?

Ben:
Yep, that's what I've been doing in my spare time this week. When I'm not trying to bail myself out from the water leakage.

Josh:
Or the compliance.

Ben:
Or the compliance stuff, yeah.

Starr:
Or the compliance.

Josh:
It's like you're dealing with insurance claims and compliance process simultaneously.

Ben:
I might as well just go to law school at night and do the trifecta, right?

Josh:
Yeah, yeah. Maybe someone can sue you.

Ben:
The good news on the compliance is, I had a meeting yesterday with a auditor, the first of the meetings where they reviewed our evidence of all the things that we say we're doing. The meeting went super well. Most of the things that we covered, like we had just done, and basically just checking off boxes. There are a few things they got back to me about, like, "You should look at this, and we need more evidence here." Overall, I was just ecstatic yesterday after getting off that call. All the work that I had been doing over the past several months actually seems to be close to paying off, so I'm pretty excited.

Josh:
We really do need to throw a party when all this is wrapped up. This is a major, major effort that we've been talking about for pretty much the life of the company, I think.

Starr:
I know. We just need to throw Ben a party.

Josh:
It went from we could never do that to, "Well, maybe we'll do that," and then Ben's just working on it. Yeah.

Ben:
You know, all throughout this process, as I've talked to people who actually know what they're doing, much more than I do, I would ask, "Well, do you see companies our size doing this? Do you have experience with that?" They're like, "Yeah, that's not too common, but sure, you know." I always just came away from those conversations like, "Well, I guess we could do it." Sitting down with this auditor person yesterday, he said, "Well, you are the smallest company I've ever worked with. Yeah, we're going to have to change some things about how we usually do this," because we don't have a board of directors, and things like that.

Ben:
So, pro tip for all those small companies like us out there. You do have to find an auditor who's able to be a little flexible in their work, because you might be the first time they encounter something. Like for example, CI/CD. Person I was working with, he's like, "Yeah, I know what that is, but a lot of my peers don't." One of the requirements is that you have a separate development versus production environment, and that you have a log and a control over what goes into production.

Ben:
So when you say, "Oh, well, we have CI/CD. We have continuous integration, continuous deployment, and it runs the tests and it push the code to production for us automatically," they scratch their heads a little bit and they're like, "Oh. So you don't have a process or a person that's the gatekeeper for production?" It's like, "Nope." So they're like, "Well, then, hmm. We're going to have to come up with something."

Josh:
We had a person write the rules for that.

Starr:
I mean it's a process, it's just not a person doing it, right?

Josh:
Right, right.

Ben:
So there's things like that that's like, "Oh, okay, it's a learning experience for everyone."

Josh:
Hmm, yeah.

Ben:
Yeah, I think I need to write some sort of mega blog post or maybe miniature ebook about if you're a tiny tech company, here's what you can expect when you're about to walk into the compliance world.

Josh:
Seriously, you should.

Starr:
Oh, you should.

Josh:
Okay, we should-

Starr:
You could sell that, even.

Josh:
We should do a pay, like an ebook. That would be totally... Just put it on Gumroad as a downloadable. Seriously, you could even just do a screen cast with a brain dump for an hour and a half or something.

Ben:
That would be more than an hour and a half. But, yeah, that would be cool, maybe, I should do that.

Josh:
A seven part, seven session.

Ben:
A mini-series on Lifetime TV.

Starr:
I had fun the other day, though, when you were like, could y'all help me think of threats to the business and things. You're asking me to think of things that could go wrong? I was born for this. This is my jam. I'm great at thinking about things that could go wrong.

Josh:
I still need to do that. Spend a little time thinking about worst case scenarios.

Starr:
Yeah, that's all right. Come on over to the dark side.

Ben:
That was one of three things that I didn't have ready in time for the call yesterday. That's the last of the work I need to do next week to be able to get this hurdle and get our type one report in process.

Josh:
Yay.

Starr:
What's the upshot of all of this? What comes out of it? What will we be able to offer customers once we get this?

Ben:
Especially for publicly traded companies who might want to use us as a processor, they have to attest that they are managing all of the their data in a secure fashion. They have to go through the same process. Part of that process is you have to say, "Okay, for all of our key vendors that handle sensitive data, they also need to assert that they abide by these kinds of policies."

Ben:
If you're in that situation where you need to attest that, yes, your data is being treated securely by your vendors, then there's two ways that you can get that done. You can ask the vendor for their SOC 2 report; an auditor has given an opinion that, yes, they are following good policies.

Ben:
Or, you can ask that vendor to fill out a security questionnaire. Or I guess you could visit their office and make sure you could do a personal inspection. Typically, it's either going to be, you're going to ask that vendor for a SOC 2 or ISO 27001 report. Or you're going to ask that vendor to fill out the security questionnaire.

Ben:
When you receive one of those, and we've received a few of those from our customers. It's painful, it's super painful, because they ask you, basically, all the same things that you would go through in a compliance thing. Your security posture, your privacy stuff. Just going through the process once and having an auditor give you their opinion that, yes, this company is being run well. Then you can just turn that over to customers who need that as part of their process to become compliant. Then it just saves everyone a whole bunch of time.

Starr:
I've got a question for you. It sounds like this whole... It sounds like compliance is GPL that went viral. If you want to be compliant, all your vendors that you use have to be compliant. But for them to be compliant, all their vendors need to be compliant. Would it be fair to say that by providing this to our customers, we're allowing our customers to service bigger customers that may require compliance reports?

Ben:
Yes, yep.

Starr:
All right. Yeah, we are opening entire new markets for our customers. It's time to raise prices.

Ben:
I will give you a for instance. As I was talking to the auditor yesterday, we were talking about our vendors, the vendors that Honeybadger uses. We use Amazon web services, so obviously they have a whole bunch of compliance stuff done, right? You can go and download their SOC 2 reports and that kind of stuff.

Ben:
You use other providers like Twilio for sending SMS. One of the vendors that we use that we do rely on for delivering our services to our customers, we don't have a report from them, yet. I do need to go to them and say, "Hey, I know you don't have a SOC 2 report because I've asked you for that in the past and you didn't have it, so please answer my security questionnaire." Now I'm on the other end.

Josh:
Now you're the one with the questionnaire, oh no.

Ben:
Yeah.

Starr:
That must make you feel so powerful.

Ben:
No, it just makes me feel kind of frustrated. I don't want to spend my time doing this, but we do depend on them.

Josh:
Do you feel like a stooge?

Ben:
Yeah, exactly. I feel pretty bad about it, actually. Got to do it, you know? My auditor's going to be talking to me, be like, "How do you know that they're being secure with your stuff?" There you go.

Starr:
One thing to come out of this I'm really liking is whenever we have to do something that people don't like, and they're like, "Why are you doing this?" We're like, "Got to do it, the auditor says. Auditor says we got to do it, sorry."

Ben:
It's always helpful to have that third party somewhere nebulous behind the scenes that, "Oh, sorry, I can't help you, my hands are tied."

Starr:
Yeah. I wonder how far you could take that. I'm sorry, we can't rename errors to notifications in our tabs. The auditor won't let us.

Ben:
Parents do this all the time, right? The kid comes to Dad and says, "Hey, Dad, I want to blah." And Dad's like, "I'm not sure I want to say yes to this, but I kind of need some backup." So he says, "Go ask your mother." As the kid is heading towards mom, there's this kinetic or telekinetic communication happening, right? This dad is winking at the mom or whatever, or shrugging, or giving that... You know what I'm talking about. Giving that signal to say no. Then the parents talk about it later, right? And they decide what they're going to do and how they're going to handle the situation. But yeah, it's nice to have someone to blame it on.

Josh:
It's like an auto dealership trick.

Ben:
Yeah, totally. I've got to go back to my manager.

Josh:
I have to go check. I'll have to check with my manager.

Ben:
Right?

Josh:
Oh, sorry.

Ben:
Right.

Josh:
Yeah. You could just give them, if they ask for something, just give them a compliance questionnaire. Say, "Fill this out."

Ben:
I can do that for you, but first you have to fill out this 60 question form.

Starr:
Before I can read your support ticket, I'm sorry, you're required to fill this out.

Ben:
Speaking of support tickets. We got a support request that came in this week, asking for a feature. The person was very nice about it, and said, "You know, this is a problem that I'm having. I can't find a place in your application where I can change this, did I miss it?" I really appreciated that approach, it was very non confrontational. There are nice ways to say things, and not so nice ways to say things. Unfortunately, we don't have the feature that this person wanted. Of course, they already knew that because they couldn't find it in the UI, and that's why they're asking.

Ben:
So I said, "Yeah, sorry, we don't have that." So they came back and said, "Could you add that? Even though I'm not a paying customer, I do send paying customers your way," smiley face. I grinned at that, and I thought, you know, we actually don't discriminate against our nonpaying customers when they send in support requests like that. We consider every feature request equally. We are very magnanimous about that sort of thing here at Honeybadger. But I thought it was very kind, very polite way to ask nicely for something. I think we'll have to turn around and build that just because he was so nice.

Starr:
Aw, I love it. That's heart warming. One thing that Josh and Ben Finley and I talked about on our marketing call yesterday was that a lot of times the nonpaying customers and the paying customers are the same people. I don't really have any evidence for this, but I've done it before. I've had free accounts in a service, then I'm like, "Hey, we should use this in our business," and then we have a paid account for it, too.

Starr:
We were talking about that in the context of how it might be useful to, instead of tailoring all of our messaging to free trials and student accounts, instead of tailoring that messaging to getting them to upgrade to a paid account, perhaps we should try tailoring that messaging to sell them on how they should bring Honeybadger into their other projects, you know? Why you should bring Honeybadger to your day job, if you're working on a side project, or whatever.

Josh:
Especially in the context of... We've been having a significant number of GitHub student sign up still, because we're part of the GitHub student pack. Those people, they might not have jobs yet, but they're learning, and we know they're going to have jobs soon. It's a perfect opportunity to make a good impression and hopefully suggest that they can bring Honeybadger with them as they embark on their new careers.

Starr:
Even if they do start some hot new startup or whatever, they're not going to use their GitHub student account for it, probably.

Josh:
Yeah, probably wouldn't happen.

Josh:
Do you want to switch gears a little bit and talk about work/life balance? There was this discussion recently, yesterday, that I was discussing with Justin Jackson and a few others on Twitter. 

Starr:
I don't mind switching gears, I learned to drive on a manual.

Josh:
I spoke a little bit for the three of us, so I thought it might be good to get your takes on our early starting years. The discussion was about how much time it requires to start a new company or a new business. I think we were kind of talking more about software as a service business, in particular. But there's this tweet that went around that was talking about basically you can start a small, medium, or large. You can start an Uber-sized business, and each of those businesses are going to take all of your time. The point was, so start the big one.

Josh:
The example was you're all going to have to work 100 hours a week on all of these to start them. Justin was like, "Hell no, you don't need to work 100 hours a week on anything."

Starr:
Oh, no, that's what we did wrong. Okay.

Josh:
So yeah, he started this discussion about there's a lot of small businesses out there that are starting on much less time than 100 or even 50 hours a week, say. I was thinking back, and what I recall, I recall working... Because I was working a full time 9:00 to 5:00, eight hours a day on my freelance business. So I'd work usually a few hours in the morning, and maybe a few hours in the evening or over the weekend or something on Honeybadger. I think it totaled an extra 10 to 20 hours initially, I would guess.

Josh:
I guess we might even have time sheets somewhere, because I think we were logging our time, eventually. Does that sound about right? So what I said was total, including a 40 hour week day job, I was working probably 50 to 60 hour weeks just for the initial period while we built up our revenue to the point where we could start shifting from our jobs in freelance income, to Honeybadger, at which point we didn't continue that extra work. We basically worked less over time as we replaced our income.

Ben:
I think that's true in the large... I think since I was responsible for the ops stuff, I think my time commitment was a little higher in those early days. Even after we transitioned to full-time, I think I was spending probably more than 40 hours a week on stuff.

Josh:
Combined, or on?

Ben:
Early on, I agree, 10-ish hours a week, when we still had full-time jobs. Then we transitioned to... Starr and I transitioned to doing freelancing for a while, between the full-time job and being full-time on Honeybadger. That was a ramp, I guess. Over time, i just built up my Honeybadger time and decreased my freelancing time as the revenue allowed it. But then once Honeybadger was full-time, I think even still then, for quite a while, I was, I would say, 50 to 60 hour weeks, because I was dealing with stuff after hours that I didn't choose to deal with, I had to deal with.

Josh:
I wasn't really thinking about the point of after the transition was over. But I still get the feeling I, in general... I don't know. I also made the point that it's a little bit hard to separate between these things, because I often code for fun, and back then, and even still, Honeybadger, it was a side project then, it's not a side project now, but there's lots of projects that I enjoy working on. A lot of times I'll find myself hacking, but it's hard to say, is this work, or is this just my hobby?

Ben:
I think Ian Landsman made that point in one of his speech. He was like, "Yeah, but you're forgetting about if you're reading about the thing, and you're studying about how to do whatever, that's work." To your point, for me-

Josh:
Talking about it on Twitter for hours into the evening.

Ben:
For me, that stuff is fun. It's not just work, it's also a hobby. So yeah, I can easily spend a lot of time doing what someone would call work because I think it's fun.

Josh:
Yeah, I don't know. Also, I think it was good that we were able to use the product. I said we were the first customers of Honeybadger, and we built it for ourselves. We were using it during our day jobs because that's where we needed it. Even as we were working, we were using it as a tool for our clients or employers or whatever. That helped us iterate faster. I'm sure there were times when we were able to go and improve a little thing, or fix a little bug or something in the process of doing our normal work, which helped.

Starr:
Oh, yeah. I think when I had my day job and actually even I guess when freelancing afterwards, I would work evenings a lot more. I probably didn't really go over 60 hours too often. I think I was actually... We didn't really discuss this, but it just kind of worked out this way, I think, and correct me if I'm wrong. I think I may have been the first person to actually go full-time because I moved to Mexico. I didn't need a ton of money to live, and all that. And I didn't have kids at the time, and I wasn't married. I don't know. But it was only by a couple months. It wasn't a huge thing.

Josh:
Yeah, I think it depends on the sit... The discussion of whether you can you start a business on less than 100 hours a week, obviously.

Ben:
Yes.

Josh:
Can you start it on less than 40? Yes, totally.

Ben:
Yes.

Josh:
It all depends on the situation. You can't start every business, probably, with just one person working under 40, say 30 hours a week. You're not going to start Uber single-handedly working 30 hours a week.

Starr:
Or 100 hours a week.

Josh:
Or 100 hours a week, yeah, probably, to be honest. But there's a lot of businesses you could.

Starr:
Can I-

Josh:
Yeah.

Starr:
Can I just say that this whole premise, the whole tweet about, "You're going to be working 100 hours a week and you can do a small, medium, or large business, so you might as well do the large business," I'm sorry, that's just dumb.

Josh:
It's a pretty BS take. Yeah.

Starr:
That's just idiotic. First of all, there's so many differences. The lifestyle of have a small or medium sized business is quite different from the lifestyle of having an Uber sized business. There's a difference between are you trying to start a business to support yourself, your family, and your employees, versus are you trying to start a public company?

Josh:
Is your goal to ship yourself to the moon, eventually, or something like that? We all have different...

Starr:
I think the source of this, I think where this stupidity is coming from, is the source of a lot of stupidity, especially online, which is everybody assumes everybody else has the same values and experiences and goals as they do. That, if they are not achieving those, it must be some sort of failure, or it must be just dumb. It seems like half the internet now is people taking things out of context. I don't know, maybe I'm taking this tweet out of context because I haven't even seen it. .

Ben:
One thing I'll add here, it was not a tweet, it was actually someone talking to me back in the olden days when we talked face-to-face with people.

Josh:
What?

Ben:
Yeah. He made an interesting point that stuck with me since then, he said, "You really only have so many years." Right? You only get so many businesses you get to build. You should thinking about that when you're thinking about what kind of business you want to build next. We were talking about big versus small. Of course it's down to personal preference, and that's exactly the point. You only get so many times to go out there and try this, right? You might build three, or four, or five businesses in your lifetime. Choose what's going to make you happy. Not just the final destination that you think will make you happy, but also the process, the journey, right? That old phrase about it's the journey, not the destination. You only get a few decisions like this in your lifetime, might as well make the most out of each one of them, regardless of whatever your personal goals are. Just decide and be deliberate about that.

Josh:
Yeah.

Starr:
I think that's a good way of looking at it. The whole journey before destination thing. Yes, I'm referencing the Kingkiller Chronicles, which I know you love that.

Ben:
I do, I do.

Starr:
That makes sense for another reason, too. You might not get to your destination. If your destination is a billion dollar startup, chances are good you're not going to get there. If you're miserable the whole time and then you get there, that just sucks, right?

Josh:
Totally.

Starr:
Why would you want to do that?

Josh:
Yeah. Going back to how everything depends on the situation, thinking back. If you're in your 20s, no kids. When we started Honeybadger, I was just recently married. I think I had been married for a couple years. It was just us, had a house and stuff. But we renting at that point. Even working 50 hour weeks, just think of all the free time. Just think of all the free time we had working 50 hour weeks. It's very relative. Now it's barely work a 30 hour week and still... Yeah.

Starr:
That's a good point.

Josh:
I don't have a problem with you have the time, you're young, and if you like to do the work, I'm not going to rain on anyone's parade of wanting to work a little over 40 hours. There's no set in stone, you have to work over 40 hours or you're a terrible person or something.

Starr:
Oh, that's true, it depends on the person.

Josh:
What are you doing with the rest of your time? Does anyone ever talk about that?

Starr:
I'm building out my Animal Crossing island.

Starr:
Yeah, it's funny, it's in pandemic, and being home so much and everything, it's getting less done, being able to work less hours. Although the amount of work I do in a day, not work work, but the amount of labor I do in a day has probably doubled. Everybody has their own situation. The thing is, everybody can... I'm not going to say it's possible in every situation, because some people definitely are in really rough situations. But it's possible to start a business in a variety of situations in terms of work, in terms of the amount of time that you can put in. And it really depends on a lot of factors other than that I think.

Josh:
Mm-hmm (affirmative). Agreed.

Starr:
Well we're at time. I feel like this is a pretty positive message to leave people with especially since we live in the worst possible timeline. I'm feeling good about this are you all feeling good about this?

Ben:
FounderQuest is all about bringing you the calm, peaceful, reassuring thoughts that you need in times of crisis, pandemic, and world turmoil.

Starr:
That's true and aren't we so privileged to be able to have those thoughts and not be thrown in the middle of the fire ourselves right now. I think about that everyday.

Josh:
For real.

Starr:
Alright so if you have enjoyed this show dear listener please go to Apple Podcasts and review us and if you do want to write for us we do hire people to do blog posts about Ruby, Elixir, you know, cool stuff, go to our blog at www.honeybadger.io/blog and there's a link right that that says "write for us" so go check that out.

Starr:
One side benefit, I haven't said this before, but if you do want to write for us you get to have a one-on-one call with me cause I gotta check you out, I gotta make sure you're for real

Ben:
What more could you ask for?

Josh:
We should be charging them.

Starr:
I know why are we even paying people?


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