How is Adaface doing? I don't know
It gives me anxiety to answer it honestly. Even today, 3 years after founding Adaface and even though we are doing extremely well.
Startups are hard. You do 100 things and 2 things work. There are more failures than successes every week. Heck, there are many weeks where there are no significant successes (but there are very significant failures). And as an ecosystem we are not making it easy to share failures.
Everyone's faking it-
I interacted with many founders in the early days of Adaface. Everyone had rosy stories of how they were doing. I used to feel miserable comparing my story with theirs. "How come everyone else is doing so good?". Later I realised everyone is sharing only selective portions of how they are doing.
Ecosystem favours success stories-
Adaface was incubated in an accelerator. Our immediate checkpoints were to convince the accelerator that we deserve pre-seed funding. And later VCs that we deserve seed funding.
They are in the job of comparing startups and decide who to fund. And when one startup shares only the positive stories, others have to follow suit.
Need to focus on success stories-
As we grew Adaface, I began to see why founders need to focus more on success stories: team and family. They have a lot riding on "How is Adaface doing". Irrespective of 98 failures, as a founder you have to learn to focus on the 2 wins and champion your team to execute the next 100 things. Because that is what matters,
Removing the hard parts of our journey and then extrapolating only the good parts still gives me anxiety. And as a founder I have to do this repeatedly. Here's what helps me-
Deepti (my cofounder) and I talk very actively about our anxieties.
We changed how we track core metrics: WoW to QoQ and share these with our team/family.
If you are a founder and things don't look great today, you are not alone.