first time i got fired


soaking it in after a tough week with coltrane in the background.


^ usually, i use the fire emoji to mean something good, where someone has done something where they are lighting up their potential. it's like a step towards building momentum. one of my favorite reactions to an update.

this week, is the first time where the emoji is not such an optimistic forward looking thing.

it burns a little differently as i got fired.

after a series of hard conversations with someone i thought would be a future co-founder, he made the full decision on his own that he wanted to be a solo author in what he was building.

if building a startup is like writing a book, then he is seeking a team to execute the outline written and draft set rather than a co-writer and co-editor to test, challenge, and write new things.

and that's not my main m.o.

so that does not fit his team bill. 18 months of being an advising sounding board, 6 months of direct discussion, and 2 months of trying it out pales in comparison to the lack of awareness of what one wants when building.

self awareness is the path towards truth, especially as a founder, and i respect his conviction in finding what is true for him, even if it surprises me.

while this comes with all the emotions of a break up, namely frustration and disappointment, i've taken time to move through it fully, discuss with founder friends who have been supportive, and start moving forward to explore what's next for me.

i'm grateful this conversation happened sooner rather than later, as i could see it only create a rift that would be larger the more time that went by.

and one by product of hard conversations is the clarity of what i want to build next.

putting founders first, feels too simple of an insight to build a foundation on, but it's comforting to have something that simple and straightforward.

i'm definitely inspired by seeing navid + nadeem, founders of tks, put the young people of tks first in everything they do. from session design to team roles and hard annual planning decisions, everything they do is about the innovators.

here's to doing that for founders.

if you're reading this and have had unexpected obstacles in early startup journey, send me a note. i'm especially curious for co-founder splits and how you dealt with it.

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made with 🖤 in sf.