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Letting Go (All the Time)

December 1, 2021

I was listening to an interesting talk given by Tony Xu, one of the founders of DoorDash, and Miki Kuusi, the founder of Wolt. Wolt has recently been acquired by Doordash, in what was one of the larger Nordic exits as of late.

They said a lot of really interesting things, but one that really stuck with me was one thing that Miki said. Every founder will eventually leave its company. For some founders, it might only take a few years as they for some reason belong in the very early stages of a company. Or, it might take longer as with Dorsey who is just now leaving Twitter. In some cases, it might be several decades, as with Bezos, who is toning down his role at Amazon and will eventually leave.

All founders will eventually leave. The challenge is to build an organization that becomes stronger, not weaker when the founders do so.

This can be a challenge for founders and just one example of the inner challenges to entrepreneurship. You cannot be involved in every decision that you'd want to be involved in as the company grows.

If you want to change society in a way that is sustainable you cannot yourself be part of that sustainable solution, only building it. So the job of a founder is always to make herself or himself redundant, and then to move on to the next thing.