How do you deal with growing pains and the mental exhaustion from having to scale at lightning speed?
Let me start this off by saying I know my circumstances could be much worse and I am by no means complaining about what’s going on – but I am certainly still stressed and unsure of how to feel.
Backstory: I have been working on a SaaS startup for the past two years, and we officially launched this past fall. It was going well, slow growth but still growth. Then all of the sudden, about a month ago, we became a very essential tool due to COVID-19. We had to scale insanely fast and therefore had to cut corners, so last week when our user base went up by 300%, we crashed several times. It felt like the end of the world. I had anxiety attacks all week long, constantly waking up in the middle of the night to check if it had crashed again. We spent tons of money super fast to fix these growing pain issues, and we’ve somehow cobbled together a temporary fix and a plan for a long term solution, as well. These people could easily just go use a competitor who is more mature but (for the most part) they’re sticking with us which gives me some solace. But now I have to deal with scaling my entire company at a speed I never thought possible in the middle of a pandemic.
On top of that, I just feel so terrible that all of these people who are relying on us are experiencing this shitty intermittent service. It’s not the worst thing in the world to have a slow load time or not the most optimal UI, but I can’t seem to release my fears of people hating us forever because of a bad first impression. You’re supposed to be embarrassed of your first release or else you’ve done it too late, but man is it hard to actually deal with that in practice. I know sometimes you have to “let fires burn” in the beginning, but how did you cope mentally with growing pains and having to ignore the perfectionist voice in your head?
How do you begin to deal with the stress of your startup actually working the way you wanted it to? How do you come to terms with the fact that you can’t put out every fire and make everyone happy? Thank you to anyone who can give their two cents or even just provide an anecdotal story to make me feel like I’m not alone in this.