Fri, Nov 18, 2016
A conversation on Singularity University’s Slack today reminded me of the tragic death of an incredibly talented young founder I knew. Although he was, by all means and measures, very successful(raised a solid Series A, was doing very well with his product), in the end he couldn’t cope with the stress anymore and took his own life.
Sadly this is not an uncommon story. Nor is he the only founder I personally knew who took his life. A lot has been written about the prevalence of depression amongst startup founders — the stats are staggering: It is believed that between 30 and 50% of entrepreneurs battle with mental health conditions.
As someone who has travelled through this dark valley myself, I believe I understand. Being an entrepreneur can be hard, lonely and oftentimes dark.
Should you ever find yourself in this spot: Find likeminded folks and talk to them. Practice self-care — set up a Doubt Club, regularly talk to people where you can be just you, not the founder cliché version of yourself, find things which help you distance yourself from the day-to-day. In your dark moments seek help (in the US call 1–800–273–8255).
Most importantly: Know that you are not alone. We have your back. I have your back.
Be kind to yourself.