We are Jose and Roberto Rodes. In 2012 we started our adventure as entrepreneurs.
Throughout this time, we have founded and developed two startups and explored a handful of projects that did not come to fruition.
We have gone through very different stages and approaches since we decided to get on this path.
We started betting most of our resources on a macro project with a unicorn vocation.
When it went wrong, we undertook another startup. This time, we did it on bootstrapping, but we didn’t manage to make it work either.
We have struggled to turn ideas into businesses. We have experienced the difficulties of designing and launching an MVP, reaching product-market fit, getting traction, or seeking the necessary funding to move to the next level.
Repeatedly, we focused on paths that could help us grow unhealthily fast, both personally and professionally.
We always targeted hyper-growth. We always aimed at designing a model that could work and scale to infinity and beyond.
We did not achieve it. —Luckily for us.
We say luckily, although, of course, we will never know what would have happened if we’d had “success” in any of our ventures.
We presume, however, that it would not have given us the kind of success we aimed for.
It would not have taken us to a place where we wanted to be.
We suspect it would have blinded us.
And I know for sure, it would have prevented us from understanding many things that we recognize as fundamental today.
That is why I think we were fortunate to fail.
Paradoxically, we might say that failing was the catalyst that enabled us to start growing a real career as entrepreneurs.
After the decline of our last project, we reached a situation of collapse at all levels.
We were alone, and it was time to start over.
Under that context, we seriously questioned our ability to get an entrepreneurial project off the ground.
No previous approach had worked. Never had we felt comfortable and with actual control over what we were doing. So it was easy to think that maybe the problem was that, naturally, this was not for us.
But that wasn’t what we felt. —We are pretty stubborn.
Not having to report to anyone after such a long time gave us the freedom to think about other options that we had not even considered before.
So instead of persevering on the same route and risk falling on the same mistakes, among all the possible options, we decided to stop.
The loftier the building, the deeper must the foundation be laid.Thomas de Kempis.
From then on, we focused on reflecting, researching, learning, and understanding.
Figure out where we had failed. Understand ourselves and our situation. Comprehend our motivations, our decisions, our fears, and the blockers that prevented us from making progress.
Understand our dependence on the environment and its influence on us.
Discover the severe defects of the current entrepreneurial culture.
Discern the difference between venturing into a project, based just on an idea sustained by illusion and faith, or forging a consistent and lasting career as entrepreneurs.
This process helped us acquire the invaluable clarity and confidence we needed to start taking the right steps towards the control of our life and work.
In the course of our current mission, we have decided to share everything we learn.
We intend to help entrepreneurs like us make progress in the right direction faster while avoiding the constraints, frustrations, and dead ends we had to go through.
Following that thinking, our first effort will be to help other founders to understand.
Get them to the same level of clarity we’ve come to acquire through our struggle.
Help them break the failing startup cycle and start making progress consistently and ethically.
To do so, we’ve set out to gather all those lessons into a book.
For now, we’ve decided to title it…
…drum roll 🥁️ 🥁️ 🥁️…
And as part of our “share everything we learn” philosophy, we’ll release on this site the teachings we gain along the process.
We won’t start from scratch, however.
Our journey brought us through an extensive research and learning process that extended over more than two years.
The materials and knowledge accumulated during that time, a by-product of that process, will be the basis for the book.
We might say that writing this publication is the culmination of that hard but revealing period.
We already have a launch plan and a rough outline of the book.
And we have also built and published a landing page for the product within our site, where you can dig a bit further.
Subscribe for exclusive content and updates.
From that page, you will be able to subscribe to our list and confirm your interest. This way, you will get updates on the progress of the book and hear when it launches.
You’ll also receive subscriber-only content that we will deliver for free, including early previews of the book.
Want to get involved?
We want as many people as possible to participate in this project.
To make the book even more helpful, we will tackle stories and case studies from other founders who:
- Are struggling, trying to move their project forward,
- Failed, and are considering to give up and return to their life —or already did it,
- Or, have already succeeded, and still are struggling somehow, trying to grow their company further.
If you fit any of the situations above, we’d love to know more about you.
If you want to share your story and get featured in the book, please, let us know. To do so, you can send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “Understand case study”, indicating your name so we can get in touch with you.
In any case, we’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
Did you founded a startup and did not work out as expected?
While growing your startup, did you feel like following others’ goals?
Did you feel at all times with little to no control over your success?
Did you succeed but are still struggling to make the progress you seek in your life?
Did you succeed, and everything is going fine for you and your business? —Bravo for that! 👏👏👏 We’d love to know even more.
Thank you very much to all.
Are you currently struggling and fear your well-intentioned startup dream is about to crash down? If that’s the case, you might find “Understand” valuable. You can take a look at it here.
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