Archive for May, 2008

Giving up the ghost, gracefully

Sunday, May 4th, 2008

I recently have read a couple of posts about people gracefully putting their startups to bed.  I want to commend these brave writers.  It is incredibly hard to give up on a business venture, financially and emotionally, I should know I have done so twice.

I think it says so much for these people, Russ, Eran, and JB.  These are the types of people you want running software projects for your company.  I can’t count how many times I have seen managers refuse to put an end to projects that just aren’t going anywhere. Even when killing the project would be the best thing for the company, it is often not done because of pride or political factors.
It is hard to admit defeat, especially when you phrase it like that.  If however you look at it as an opportunity cost calculation, you can take a more optimistic view of the situation.  I believe the oportunity cost calculation is the proper way to look at decisions like these.  Say my startup is profitable, but just inching along, if I have the opportunity to join another more profitable venture, it is costing me the difference.  That difference is the opportunity cost.   I believe that for everyone in the list above, continuing their startup would have had a very high opportunity cost (they are very desirable employees).