The Value of Trauma
Often you see high profile startups in the throes of trauma. They’ve been hacked. They have a flaw in their level of their service. An important blogger writes negative things about them. This trauma can define your company or you can use it to make you strong.er
Here are a few things I’ve observed about trauma.
- Trauma feels terrible for you and everyone on your team. Make sure you address it with your team in a thoughtful, forthright way soon after it happens.
- When trauma is in the public sphere, respond swiftly and decisively. Outline the entire problem in a clear way and let people know what you’re doing about it right now. In addition, share your plan about what you’re going to do in the near future to prevent it from happening again. When you’ve fixed the trauma let everyone know.
- Trauma can be the most valuable thing to happen to your startup. The fact is that most startups are too careful. When you’re too careful you don’t hit up against the limits of what you can do. Your startup remains fragile instead of being battle hardened.
I would venture to say that if your startup hasn’t experienced trauma you aren’t building something that people care enough about. The common thread among startups that have serious problems is that their users care so much about the product/service that they feel compelled voice their opinion. That doesn’t happen with startups that aren’t important to their user base.
Everyone at 42Floors has experienced trauma at their respective startups. It’s what makes us stronger and will help us put trauma we experience in perspective.