A year older, a year wiser

One year ago today, we launched Front.

To an external observer, it might look like Front has come a long way since then — and to some extent, it’s true. One year ago, the product was buggier, very few customers accepted to pay for it, we had no meaningful funding secured, no compelling arguments to attract talent, and worst of all: we weren’t even sure we were making something people want!

Those essential fears are now behind us (mostly…), but by no means is it easier to build Front today. Even though countless entrepreneurs before had warned me, repeating how it only gets worse as time passes, I always had a hard time getting it. I would think: “So you’ve got funding, you’ve got customers, you’ve got a great team, and you’re telling me how hard you have it? Oh, please…”

Then it dawned on me. It’s about the stakes.

More customers means more people to please. More employees means higher cash burn. More investors means better metrics to achieve. More press coverage means what will my grandmother think of me if I quit now? And so on. Every bit of success that we put behind applies as much pressure to what we’re going to do next. Hence the counterintuitive rule: the better you do, the harder it gets.

Don’t get me wrong, harder doesn’t equate less exciting, or less interesting. The high expectation bar brings about more joy when we raise above it. A year ago, the elusive notification of a new paying customer on the lowest plan was cause for celebration. Today we need to be a hundred times better — but every time we reach our goals, it’s not just a couple of friends throwing high-fives anymore: it’s a complete team of coordinated, motivated, talented people achieving together what none of them could have done on their own, and that makes it all worth it. As the stakes rise, so do my joy, my gratitude and my pride to be part of this team.

Can’t wait to see what will be cause for celebration next year. 🙂