Work-life balance

We’re going to take a quick break and will be back with our daily updates on April 11th. In the meanwhile, you can find a preview of what we’re building at, or check out the list of all our posts or the recaps of the work so far.

From the start on Day -1, when we built this site, we added a note in our FAQ on how we would work on the 80-Day Startup. Rather than working for 80 days straight, we decided we would take breaks too. Some of the cliches about running a startup being a rollercoaster are really true, and there’s a lot of different tasks to juggle at the same time.

For our 80-Day Startup project, on any given day we can work on a combination of code, graphics/UI design, marketing, growing an audience, writing blog posts (more work than we expected to be honest!), replying emails and DMs, configuring a server or anything else that needs doing.

Next to that we’re running our existing SaaS business, with similar work as well as all the work that comes with an established product like customer support, sales, finances, content marketing and so on. Some days we wake up to new MRR because new customers signed up completely organically/passively, while we’re getting to work on cool new features. Another day there’s a tricky bug to fix, some boring task to work on, while a customer churns at the same time.

That’s all just part of the thrilling ride, and for us there are way more highs than dips, so we both really like working on all of this.

But it’s exactly because we like working on it so much that the breaks are important. When it often feels like a hobby, it’s too easy to fill up time with work, and there’s lots of other things to explore and experience too. Being in perpetual crunch mode is unhealthy, and also totally unnecessary. When we worked on our very first product, back when we were students, we also had work-weeks of 60h or 80h, next to a side job and studies, but there’s no reason to keep doing that.

As we’ve seen over the years we’ve been doing this, growing our existing business at a healthy pace is totally possible. We focus on the things that matter, stay productive, and automate a lot. That’s why we’re building a new product in exactly the same way. It’s the only way to keep running rollercoaster marathons.

Whether it’s life stuff, traveling the world or something completely different, we want to keep plenty of space for that too. And if you would worry about productivity, we can say we always return more refreshed and more productive, easily making up for the time we take breaks.

So we’re going to take a quick break now. Diederik will be on a trip. I will be away later and do a bit of work for our existing business for now.

If you’re new to the blog, you can find all the posts we’ve written so far at Topics & Days. We post a (roughly) weekly recap, so to get a quick summary of what we’ve been working on so far, you can find those at recaps.

If you’re a binge reader of the blog (thanks for following us!), this might give you some time to catch up (we noticed it’s quite a lot of posts by now ;).

See you back in a week!

You can follow us on Twitter @jdvhouten and @wcools and look for #80daystartup

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