I am not the Craftsman Founder and this is not my manifesto.
You are the Craftsman Founder. Otherwise you would never be reading this in the first place. You are busy building a business and your time is valuable. There are a million books out there on startup advice. But something motivated you to read this one. Something inside of you, either consciously or unconsciously believes that there is more to startups than just money–that there is a craft behind what you do.
So much of today’s startup culture is superficially driven by greed and envy. It seems like everywhere you look, there are entrepreneurs looking for the quick buck. They sacrifice anything for short-term gains: their honesty, their respect, their reputation. Just look at the news. There are frequent leaks of popular startups in crisis. Those leaks often come from people trying to gain favor with the press by sacrificing their integrity… another short-term gain.
But for a few of us, there exists a fundamentally different mindset: a long-term way of thinking. We recognize and respect the craft of startups and plan to be doing startups for many years. By applying long-term strategic principles over short-term gains, we end up creating more successful businesses. We value our reputation and always strive to bring the most value and integrity to everything we do and everyone we interact with.
Not all entrepreneurs start out practicing the startup craft. In fact many of us get into startups motivated by wealth and independence. Reading this right now, you might still secretly or even openly be mainly in it for the money, power or celebrity. But part of you, the Craftsman Founder in you, recognizes how futile and fleeting those goals are. After all, there is never enough money, all forms of power are in flux, and celebrities fall out of favor. Those motivations are flimsy and empty. If you don’t love what you do for the sake of the work itself, you will always be chasing shadows and never be truly happy or fulfilled.
In the craft of startups, you are the casino and the odds are always in your favor (in the long-term). There will be ups and downs, wins and losses, but the house always wins in the end. The question to ask yourself is what is your currency? How do you measure true wealth in the startup game?
[continued in the full-length version available below]
Download the Rest of the Craftsman Founder Manifesto