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Coding is procrastination for founders

by Alex Yumashev · Updated Jun 10 2020

When you have a small startup, you don't have enough hands for everything. Neither you nor the team. Not only that - your brain also tries to avoid tedious tasks, preferring to engage in fun and interesting ones instead. The benefit of being overwhelmed is there's always plenty to choose from.

The problem is that startups are only 25% "fun and interesting", the other 75% is a dull routine. AKA "the boring shit".

I love coding, for instance. I jump into VSCode whenever I have the opportunity - click-click-click, tap-tap-tap - anything to hide from these damn business metrics, conversions, website SEO-positions, visitor analytics... Anything not to write more boring content for the blog or try to come up with a new email onboarding campaign... If there is at least the slightest chance to code something - programmers happily rush into it. Forgetting that a startup is only 25% coding.

Coding is procrastination for founders. Just like the social network addiction - it provides instant gratification, a dose of dopamine and a way to escape the reality.

Meanwhile, Rand Fishkin has shared an excellent point at the London HackerNews meetup: there are so many cool, convenient tools and frameworks out there these days, that the technical task of "building something" becomes quite trivial. Millions of programmers in the world can build the same thing and do it better than you. Creating a product is simple, telling people about it, targeting the right niche and selling it is what's difficult.

Startups rarely have problems building a product. Starups rarely have trouble solving engeneering challenges. Startups ALWAYS have problems with marketing.