When to hang up the boots as a startup founder


Editor’s note [Updated on December 3, 2019]: In making an example of Simeon Ononobi, this article originally insinuated that his current startup, ThankUCash is successful solely because his wife is a co-founder. This ignored the important fact that there are 4 co-founders on the team. This inaccuracy has been corrected below. 


Most innovative ideas form beautifully in the mind and even become more vivid after launching. The founder imagines how the business breaks even after the first year, scales in five years, and everyone lives happily ever after.

But this is how it looks in reality. A founder bootstraps a startup because it is in a popular industry, say eCommerce, getting a lot of entrants. The business starts out well as the team is able to convince retail shops to adopt it. But a few months after it launches, it begins to experience some challenges that have to do with logistics, operations, and staffing.

Having exhausted personal savings and grants, the founder is restricted and can’t possibly innovate further. At this stage, getting investors…



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