August 24, 2017
Evo Pricing CEO and Founder, Fabrizio Fantini, shares his take on why it’s great to be a founder of your own company.
A couple months ago, at our second annual conference in Italy, I was looking at my team members and soaking up the events while thinking “life doesn’t get much better than being the founder of my own company.”
Of course, there are the serious reasons for this feeling of ‘hygge’ – important things like my dream coming true, adding value to the world, developing a culture that reflects my standards and ethics, creating jobs for great people, overcoming new challenges every day, really living the entrepreneurial dream.
Yet, on reflection, while of course these are important and pushed me to take the startup plunge in the first place, really, the overall experience to date is a lot more about 5 other unexpected things that are making this more interesting than I expected. With a bit of fun thrown in the mix I’ll try to explain them in simple terms:
- Making less money. I earned way too much in my last job, but hey now as a founder, I had to adapt to a much thriftier lifestyle and (re)discover its joys (and sorrows). For example, free stuff like chatting to good old friends can be priceless! Reading the business press, one might believe that entrepreneurship is a direct path to immediate riches. But not really.
- The biggie. Power-trip anyone? As a founder, I am proud to have the final say in such crucial life-changing matters like which plants should go in the office. However, due to my poor negotiating strategy, I wasn’t even able to secure naming rights for these, at last, let alone other more important decisions. If you think as a founder you would find yourself in a position of power, reconsider. Responsibility yes, power… not really. But actually I find that empowering other people can be much more rewarding than making decisions myself.
- Coming up with creative proof that “we are consistently the very best in the world”, while often in reality our stuff barely works for one reason or the other (the main being, we would need 10x people to really run things properly). But this is a great exercise in creativity, and led to some of our very best solutions over time.
- Saving sleep for later in life. Life is too short to sleep it out.
- Providing the great excuse to pass on those “just a little help” requests from friend/ relative/ girlfriend that would in reality take hours and hours. Like my mother asking for “a little help with using her mobile phone” kind of stuff. Today, sorry, I would love to help, but I’m just so bloody busy – and I don’t have to feel bad about it! That feeling of “flow” that comes from relentlessly pursuing a very specific focus: it is precious and only too rare in this age of distraction-addiction.
Running my own business is not always a bed of roses – there are lots of issues to deal with and the buck always stops with me. If I wasn’t prepared to take massive responsibility and be 100% committed, then I would be setting myself up to fail. But this dedication has rich rewards.
Throwing myself heart and soul into my baby and getting it running smoothly, brings so many different and interesting things into my life.
It really is the gift that keeps giving!
About the author
Fabrizio Fantini is the brain behind Evo Pricing. His 2009 PhD in Applied Mathematics, proving how simple algorithms can outperform even the most expensive commercial airline pricing software, is the basis for the core scientific research behind our solutions.
He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and has previously worked for 10 years at McKinsey & Company.