This is what really matters. It’s been 18 (!) years since I joined my first-startup. I still have many strong bonds to that team. One of my bosses is my subtenant, both are great mentors to this day.
It’s been 14 (!) years since I co-founded my first startup. My co-founder and I didn’t really know each other before then, but we are close to this day. The memories, the failures, the crazy times, the struggles. No one can take that from us. We can still finish each other’s sentences. She runs her own start-up now, I just wish we had more time to catch up.
It’s been 12 (!) years since I co-founded EchoSign. While Adobe acquired the company 6+ (!) years ago, many of us still work together to this day, in various capacities. My ex-VP of Sales is probably my favorite person in the world to talk to business and startup stuff about. When I see him in the office every week, he’s always one of the first I want to catch up with.
It’s been 5 years since we started SaaStr, at first just a blog, and 2 years or so as an actual company. We have a terrific team in place now. I hope to have and cherish these relationships for another several decades. At least.
The products themselves — very cool, and significant. But … in the long run … less important.
You don’t have to be BFFs. But if you can build an amazing team that you also enjoy coming to work with every day, tackling the same challenges together … then you do amazing things. And build memories and relationships that endure forever.