Your baby is ugly

Your baby is ugly. I first heard this truism from Troy Henikoff, an entrepreneur and VC, during a panel discussion back in 2012. I had no idea what it meant. Fast forward 10+ years, and I know all too well what it means. It means you’re coddling your startup. You’re worrying that X or Y initiative will make your startup ugly, but in reality, it’s already ugly, so you should go ahead and execute X and Y. The worrying is costing you time, objectively your most valuable resource as a startup. The worrying is costing you from learning. The lack of learning is costing you growth.

You need to be relentless in your understanding that your baby is ugly. As soon as you do, it will open you to growth opportunities and decrease stress levels. After all, how bad can a new initiative be if you’re already starting with an ugly baby? Go ahead, take that risk. The real risk as a startup is not taking enough of them.