One of my favourite characters in a TV series is Ari Gold from Entourage. His character was created after the real Ari Emanuel, founder & CEO of William Morris Endeavor Talent Agency, one of the most successful talent agencies in the world.
There are many reasons why people praise and dislike Ari Gold at the same time (the character has created a lot of controversy since the series launched in 2004), but he has two traits that I think are essential if you’re running a startup: first of all, he hustles. The man does not give up. In one of the episodes, he calls a potential client 25 times in a week. I don’t know many startups that do that. Secondly, he is always on. He never stops. He goes to visit his clients in the middle of the night and answers the phone while having sex with his wife, that sort of stuff.
Building a company is hard: it takes time, intelligence, smart people, committed people, good timing and some luck. But on top of that, it requires an immense amount of perseverance and an inescapable desire to please customers, whatever that takes. And if the founder doesn’t do it, I don’t know who will.