David Sacks: One of the toughest things about being a founder is the Darwinian struggle you’re locked in with your competitors. Simply moving fast may mean that, relative to your competitors, you’re not moving at all.
‘It takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place’
It’s like the Red Queen says in the sequel to Alice in Wonderland, “It takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place.” Founders not only have to move fast, they have to move incredibly fast to stay ahead of the competition.
The goal with any venture-backed startup is to create a unicorn. But generating billions of dollars of market capitalization within a venture fund’s five or 10 year window is incredibly hard.
The constant pressure to move faster relative to competitors creates pathologies of hyper-growth. Companies start growing faster than they should because founders feel this incredible pressure to escape the hamster wheel they’re on.
Of course, a founder could easily avoid these problems by waiting to do everything perfectly, running their business in an incredibly efficient way and resisting pressure to grow faster. But they would still lose because they simply wouldn’t grow fast enough.