Having a baby that isn't the start-up?


So, an acuqaintence of mine who is someone whose opinion I respect on the nitty gritty in the dirt of startups just had a new baby.

I was thinking about how distracting that can be. How the new blessing can put pressure on the parent's relationships.How financial stress impacts everything. How lack of sleep impacts everything.

And then I realized -- wow -- that is just like being a parent isn't it?

So, what have you learned about start-ups by being a parent?

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asked May 17 '11 at 12:18
Joseph Barisonzi
12,141 points

3 Answers


  • It doesn't matter how long you are in your journey there's always a struggle
  • Everything that is worth doing takes a long, long time to achieve and only comes about through continual effort
  • You only make progress through long days and long nights and occasional lack of sleep
  • You can't plan for everything that gets thrown your way
  • Everything costs money (big or small)
  • There are some things you have to pay for whether you like it or not
  • There are just some things you can't influence / change no matter how much you try
  • Despite all of the above it is still more rewarding than just watching TV
answered May 17 '11 at 13:55
1,257 points
  • Fantastic answer. thank you so much. I laughed out loud at these. These are great. And the people at the coffeeshop with me right now all say "Amen" – Joseph Barisonzi 13 years ago


My CEO just had a baby and it was definitely a learning experience for us (plus I have several very new parents on my team). This stuff is not new to me, but I am still learning and it will come in handy for me.

So here are the random lessons I have picked up so far:

  • Don't even think about having a baby, if you have not prepared your company to run with almost zero input from you. That means delegation, trust, procedures, and conflict resolution has to be figured out in advance.
  • Test. Test. Test. My CEO went on a "babymoon" to Jamaica with almost no cellphone coverage. We had some very big things happening and some problems popped up. Company did not crumble, team did not crumble, and things worked out (just like intended).
  • Realize child has higher importance than the company. If you can't - don't have one. If anyone on your team does not get that and supports that - replace them.
  • Having a child makes you optimize your life and puts fire under your a** like you never had before.
  • If you are female entrepreneur, make sure your office has places for you to nurse or pump. Make sure you have technology to allow you to work remotely.
  • If company has bunch of new parents - sign up for emergency nanny service. It will come in handy.
  • You will be stressed. It will suck to leave your kid in daycare. You will blame yourself. All is normal. People have done it since the dawn of days. Get over it and enjoy the roller-coaster ride.
And most important: do not sacrifice your career. Your kids will hate you for it. Put in the effort to find balance and make sure your spouse puts in the work (or don't have a kid with them in the first place).
answered May 18 '11 at 03:52
Apollo Sinkevicius
3,323 points
  • Sinkevicuis This is great advice on what a company should do when the CEO is having a baby. Not the question I asked -- but a darn good answer to that question. Thank you! – Joseph Barisonzi 13 years ago
  • Right... if you reread with the context of you being that CEO, you will get exactly what you wanted ;-) – Apollo Sinkevicius 13 years ago


There are a lot of great comments here but some are answering a different question. I believe the question here is: What parenting skills can you transfer to your startup? Here is my take:

  • Just like kids, a company may never really "grow up". You may have this company in your life for a lot longer than you planned.
  • Your job is to teach. Teach, teach, teach.
  • Your company will disappoint you sometimes. Suck it up and carry on.
  • Your company is not better than your neighbor's company by virtue of being yours. It is not prettier or smarter or more popular just because you founded it. See what is really there.
  • Your company needs your attention. If you don't give it enough, it will act out.
  • One day it may do things that you never could do. Be proud but don't take away credit where credit is due.
answered May 18 '11 at 10:43
Kenneth Vogt
2,917 points
  • Thank you for reading the question and giving me start-up hints that are sourced from parenting. This is an answer I will be sharing! It sounds like you are a great Dad and a great leader for your company! – Joseph Barisonzi 13 years ago

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