“Well, this week has been… Crazy.

We expected the XXX launch to do ok, and it did.

What we didn’t expect was that “a few hundred new users” turned into thousands and our website got flooded (but welcome, newcomers!)

We planned on sleeping, but instead we did XXX.

Having said that, please keep the feedback coming!”

This is a typical email I tend to get from most of the modern era startups.

The product may change, people certainly change, but the bloody message remains invariable – weeks are crazy, we are happy to fix everything for you ASAP, and we are OK to sacrifice our sleep, sp please share more info.

One startup (not on my Client list yet) even created a hashtag #TeamNoSleep.

We, humans, are definitely a weird bunch. We are going through the pandemic, our beloved are dying, our kids are struggling, our politicians are not becoming better, our Planet is fading from our own hands, and on top of all that, we kill ourselves not by not sleeping enough but by not sleeping period.

There are three major reason why startups dies.

Reason 1. They overestimate the potential of product.

Reason 2. They overcomplicate the growth strategy.

Reason 3. They overestimate the abilities of founders.

Surprisingly, Reason 3 is the most common reason. As a Startup Coach, I see way too many overstretched, overstressed, and anxious founders. They go on 48-hour stretches without sleep, healthy food, sun, exercises. They replace valuable action with busyness. And eventually, they die. Not necessarily physically, but they become emotionally empty, chronically anxious, and totally passionless. And when a founder dies, a startup dies as well.

Dear Founders, please don’t overestimate yourself. Please, take care of yourself. The world doesn’t need more exhausted humans, nor does it need the startups built on your blood. Remember, what you focus on becomes your reality, and building your startup doesn’t eliminate the focus on health, happiness, and fulfillment.


  • Alla Adam

    Smart Human | Lean Startup Coach | Investor | Author


    Alla Adam is an investor, and a master certified coach with an MBA, MS & BS in international economic relations and marketing. Alla also holds two executive education certifications from Yale School of Management and Harvard Law School, both in negotiation strategies. She is an affiliate member at The Institute of Coaching, McLean/Harvard Medical School, and HeartMath Institute. Alla is proudly future-proofing humans across the globe since 2003. Alla's Client list includes smart humans from such companies & institutions as Amazon, Google, Kraft Heinz, Red Bull, Coca-Cola, Danone, PepsiCo, Nestle, JTI, Ernst & Young, BlaBlaCar, Forbes, London Business School, University of Chicago Booth School of Business, etc. She is an advocate for womxn & LGBTQ rights, and an author of two Playbooks: Million Dollar Coach Playbook and Million Dollar Investor Playbook.