Nobody likes to be called a dummy by a dummy.

social life maintenance during a startup

Hi,
I signed on as employee 6 at a well-funded startup earlier this month. It is something I'm really excited about. I've done the startup thing before, and know I'm going to need to put in a bunch of long hours.

This time around, I happen to have a girlfriend and a bunch of friends. One of the lessons I learned at my first startup was that neglecting my personal life for years at a time leads to serious unhappiness. I'm less worried about my friends (they will understand), but am worried that my girlfriend is going to get severely bummed out that I'm working all the time.

Anyone have any tips for maintaining a relationship during a startup?
Permalink socks 
January 21st, 2006
"This time around, I happen to have a girlfriend and a bunch of friends."

Oh man. You're gonna miss them.

Philo
Permalink Philo 
January 21st, 2006
marry her quick. that way when she finally realises that you dont have any time for her you already have her trapped.

should delay the breakup by anything from 6 months to 2 years depending on how (stupid) forgiving she is.
Permalink Jesus H Christ 
January 21st, 2006
actually, the other guys all have girlfriends too, so maybe I need to worry more about the startup not doing too well...
Permalink socks 
January 21st, 2006
Put on the group calendar to do a dinner every month with girlfriends/spouses.

Philo
Permalink Philo 
January 21st, 2006
What kind of inane thinking requires one to believe that the way to succeed is to work 80-90 hours a week for years? And worse, why doesn't that bother you?

Don't get me wrong, I've done my share of startups, and had to pull long hours. But you said you are well-funded, so why the need to work insane hours? Something about that screams that the company is already flawed.
Permalink Cory Foy 
January 22nd, 2006
I agree. If you are working crazy hours at a startup, this is either everybody's first startup, or management is not competant, or the employees are no good.
Permalink Art Wilkins 
January 22nd, 2006
Or there is simply a lot of work to be done? There are only six employees. Who would the management manage? I would suggest trying to work earlier in the morning and keep the evenings free. Worked for me.
Permalink _ 
January 22nd, 2006
"Or there is simply a lot of work to be done?"

And they are well-funded. So hire more people. Not developers either. I have never ever seen a startup in which developers did more than 4 hours of actual development on average per day. So, you hire a secretary, you hire a guy to handle CVS, you hire a code librarian, you hire a janitor. But most startups will have their developers working 12 hrs out of 16 doing stuff like making coffee, emptying wastebaskets, running to Staples to buy toilet paper because there is none, answering the phone...
Permalink Art Wilkins 
January 22nd, 2006
>> Put on the group calendar to do a dinner every month with girlfriends/spouses. <<

+1 to Philo.
If you want a social life at a startup, you've got to schedule it as if it were a business meeting. Put it on your Exchange calender so that others don't schedule meetings at that time.
Permalink example 
January 22nd, 2006
Try to work only 40-45 hours per week. Refuse to work more, if possible. If the owners of the startup don't understand this, and don't respect your desire for a personal life, it sounds like you made a bad career move and you should switch jobs again.
Permalink Anonymous 
January 22nd, 2006

This topic was orginally posted to the off-topic forum of the
Joel on Software discussion board.

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