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All the hard things

· 2 min read
Wojciech Gruszczyk

For most of my professional career, I was working as a member of a bigger group or had someone who was taking key decisions (or at least took the responsibility). When I decided to join co.brick (early 2022) my task was simple: make a product out of the software the company started to build a few months earlier as an internal startup. Sounds simple? Nothing could be more wrong! But how could I have known?

Being hidden by a façade of people protects us from lots of factors and lets us focus on what we love the most - building software. We brainstorm, design, implement, style, test, document, and fix, gently neglecting the fact that what we are doing is building a product. Sometimes, especially in large companies with significant budgets, we also forget why we are doing it. While most of us do it for pure pleasure (intensified by a decent salary), the real purpose is to satisfy customers [sic!] by bringing value - whatever that means - to earn money. Really!

The very moment of crossing the Rubicon and rejecting the shield is frightful and thrilling at the same time. On one hand, you feel empowered as people that you value decided to put a lot of trust in you, while on the other hand, you are facing an abyss - all the responsibility is now with you. That's exactly where I was in early 2022.

Having no choice but to face reality, I started to do the thing I usually do in such moments: reading. Quickly it turned out that just reading isn't enough as there are no silver bullets in building software companies. Fortunately, I was lucky to have experienced people around me who agreed to become my mentors. Full of enthusiasm and with great people with me, I started the adventure (some call it the struggle).

In this blog, I'll try to cover some of the important pieces of building software companies from little startups (pre-seed) to unicorns - if I get that far (wish me luck!). I hope some of those experiences will turn out helpful for you.

That’s the hard thing about hard things—there is no formula for dealing with them.

Ben Horowitz, The Hard Thing About Hard Things

Yours, Wojtek