I write about this, as I reflect on the challenge of personal time vs. startup time as Viddler turns into a 5 year+ activity.

Going from a sprint and then switching into marathon mode mid race has had it’s challenges and changes in mindset.. Here’s some of it..

2006. Fresh out of Lehigh, 22 years old, pushing on Viddler as a startup in the first year, it was 100% Viddler and everything else is including family and friends went on hold. I even stopped drinking a sip of alcohol for a year straight during this period. We raise minimal funds. With less than a $100k budget we launch Viddler.

2007. Second year, still 100%, yet I might have returned phone calls to parents back home in California and went out every month or so. Investors like growth but only commit to 3 months of runway at a time. Very stressful, but push hard and more committed then ever. I remember going to sleep at 2am and waking up at 8am during this time.

2008. Third year, like shingles falling from a space shuttle, it starts to wear down. Still very committed to Viddler in Bethlehem, PA but it’s hard to maintain a nice balance with family in California and no significant salary to take many trips back home to see them.  The 6 hour sleep schedule begins to take it’s tole as I drink 3 coffee’s and 2 Monster drinks per day… I have heart flutters. I see a doctor who tells me to sleep more and take less caffeine. Also during this period, I am starting to realize I have aged faster then any other point in my life.

2009. Fourth year, the hardest. It seems like a second ago I was in college and had many friends in arms reach. That all seems distant. Viddler needs the more focus then ever to get cashflow positive, yet family life needs attention too. True tension at it’s highest. I think many times to when I tore my ACL/MCL/PCL and came back for fourth year against doctors recommendation to play football. I can do this. Still not profitable. Investors are pushing for profitability and it’s been 3 years, of building 3 months at a time. It’s starting to take it’s tole.

2010. Fifth year, break profitability. It’s a relief. No longer beholden to the next round of investors. Still no expendable income for personal activities and employees around me deserve salary bumps more then I do due to shared sacrifice over last 4 years. I tell myself “if this becomes a big exit I can spend much more time with family/friends then ever before later in life”. Sleep schedule is nice though. I start to wake up when I want to and leave work when I feel I need to. I start running 5 miles a day, and get in control of my health.

2011. TBD

I don’t write this to vent at all. I feel very fortunate in so many ways to be where I am at today…..

To be honest, have been inspired by Zappos audiobook lately and the amount of self awareness and transparency Tony Hsieh provides. I write this to provide insight into what life has been like last 5 years so others may get a glimpse into the shifts in mindset as a startup scrappishly matures.

 

29 Responses to The Last 5 Years

  1. gdimasi says:

    Thanks for sharing this, Rob.

    I agree with you that transparency has a great return.

  2. Ryan says:

    Great transparent post rob. I know how it feels. With the high stress, lack of sleep, rapid aging, heart palps, etc. We entrepreneurs sacrifice so much to get their idea out there with basically just the hope that everything will work out for the best. Breaking the profitability mark is more than many startups out there. Congrats.

  3. Congratulations on a profitable year.

    Sounds like I should get the Zappos audiobook.

    • sandieman says:

      Thanks Andrew! Yeah, Zappos book is a must read.. put things in perspective.

    • tech comps says:

      On contrary, today's professional computer support services help PC users to derive desired results without making huge investment. Most of the PC support providers always made hard efforts to satiate clients with stead-fast, affordable and high quality tech support services.

  4. nbirkner says:

    Thank you for giving me permission to repost.

  5. Shane Mac says:

    Rob,

    I know you through small bits of interaction and your authenticity is what sticks with me. It is contagious and your dedication is one to be reckoned with.

    As for Tony's book, it is amazing to hear these stories because most of us sit and see the success at the end of the tunnel (Zappos selling, book tour, Delivering Happiness, etc) yet when you read the book it changes everything you think you know about the 10 years it took to get there. Loved the book and like Andrew said, congrats on a profitable year.

    Glad we crossed paths.

  6. […] the last 6 years I have been sacrificing to grow Viddler to point it is at today: profitable, 25+ employees and […]

  7. The triumph of online video game Flappy Bird ruffled a number of feathers, along with the attention directed its creator, Dong Nguyen, to pull it from online stores. The WSJ's Adam Najberg discusses what was behind 's Mr. Nguyen's determination. His video game, which grew to become a global trend, in recent weeks raised to the top of the forecasts in Apple Inc.'s App Store as well as Google Inc.'s Play, turning the shy 29-year-old Mr. Dong into something of a sensation among small, individual video game designers. His fame expanded more when he mysteriously withdrew the totally free game from circulation Sunday at the height of its success.

  8. What i don’t realize is in fact how you’re not actually much more neatly-preferred than you might be now.

    You are very intelligent. You realize therefore significantly with regards
    to this matter, made me personally consider it from a lot of varied angles.
    Its like women and men don’t seem to be interested unless
    it’s something to accomplish with Lady gaga! Your own stuffs outstanding.
    Always take care of it up!

  9. Thank you for giving me permission to repost.

  10. click it says:

    Thank you for giving me permission to repost.

  11. www.kc57.fr says:

    Norwalk Law enforcement agency court only two individuals with numerous hours health of their robbery from $700 out of your Extended Body of water Total Stow.

  12. Why gamblers love to bet? they love because they become addict? or it is part of fun and as a hobby? Well lets find out and try something here.
    agen ibcbet

  13. atmytabletop says:

    Launch – Storage units are vital parts and/or a new peripheral portion of each online video surveillance taking solution and they are divided straight into two major categories: outer and interior. Internal storage generally is a set of hard drives which can be bought in different drives.

  14. I'm a company owner along with digital small business owner with 15+ several years of experience inside IT industry. I cope directly with small enterprise and prevention maintenance legal agreements. I recognize first hand The main advantages of Preventative Maintenance For ones Technology.

  15. Pcs are a fundamental portion of everyday lifestyle; it can be literary what sort of world goes today with a lot of people relying in computers to acquire things accomplished. You could couple your personal machine with a new projector, gaming console, scanner, router as well as printer to generate your lifestyle simpler determined by what tasks you've got at side. However.

  16. Frequently online Barbie diversions utilize the move and customize interface. It will be so much fun, seeing your young lady sprucing up every one of these dolls.

  17. SAM says:

    Nice blog. Found this while searching through google

  18. Ellen Smith says:

    The article was so inspiring the time line of 5 years define everything you have gone through the years to reach this point. The story is a real inspiration to those who want to pursue their dreams no matter how long it would take.
    Wholesale Tablets

  19. An excellent type of posting you have used to post this interesting blog. It contain very useful information. You are doing the great job. Keep this great work up.

  20. Jason says:

    Impressive job. You make such a variety of extraordinary focuses here that I read your article several times. Your perspectives are as per my own generally. This is extraordinary substance for your peruses.
    local plumber

  21. flhome says:

    Outstanding post! I really impressed to read the great information that you have posted. I appreciate you for this sharing and want to say that keep sharing such kind of posts. Click here for plumbing services.

  22. flhome says:

    Amazing post! After reading it, I want to say that you have created very interesting post with a lot of interesting information and great content. Keep doing the great work up. website

  23. Jimmy says:

    Interesting post. I would like to get more reading stuff from you.
    call texas plumber

  24. faraday jhon says:

    After a thorough read to your post I want to say that you have shared best quality stuff in the content of the post. Check it

  25. Jack says:

    Really Great content i have found from your website. I just want to appreciate your great efforts.
    call newyork plumber

  26. Wilson says:

    The information you have in this post is interesting and impressive. I would like to thank you for posting especially for us.take care.
    plumbing directory

  27. Jim Sanders says:

    great post.. thanks for sharing iPhone App Developer Company

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Looking for something?

Use the form below to search the site:


Still not finding what you're looking for? Drop a comment on a post or contact us so we can take care of it!