The art of building momentum and keeping it

One of the founders in this year's Techstars Seattle program, Shane Wey - CEO of MightySignal, wrote a great blog post on momentum. I thought I would share it with you.


The art of building momentum and keeping it

Shane Wey, CEO of MigthySignal - Techstars Seattle 2014. 

Momentum is a crazy thing. It comes and goes. When you have it, you hold on as hard as you can. When you don't, you're applying as much force as possible to create it. It's elusive and it's hard to measure, but when you have it, you feel it; when you don't, you know it.

We all came into Techstars with varying degrees of momentum. I'd like to say the class as a whole accelerated through the entire 90 days, but realistically, there were stops, goes, u-turns, resets, turnpikes, cop chases. Thankfully there were no crashes. My co-founder, Jason, and I found ourselves many times sitting in a conference room, debating head vs. heart conflicts, white-boarding and post-it-ing to figure out what was really important. And frankly, I think that is not only part of startup nature, but almost part of Techstars design. Whatever challenges face you outside of Techstars, those challenges are then magnified 10x in Techstars. Soft spots in your idea? Mentors will pound you for that. Questionable business model? Investors will tear you apart. No customers? Let's not go there... There are no kid gloves. The whiplash is real, and you question everything, but once you start building the muscle to process, withstand, and adapt, you begin to steady.

Entering the home stretch of the program, we're all beginning to steady. Some of our ships have been battered, with dents in the hull, and we're nowhere near the edge of the storm, but our flags are flying high and we're sailing straight. Momentum is noticeable. Things are starting to come a bit easier, whether it's making that sale, or getting that meeting. It's become as much about hanging on and harnessing the momentum as it is pushing.

And building that momentum, or "mo", is what it's all about. Now, whenever we look back to where we were 24 hours ago, it's shocking. Wait, did we just build that? Did we really just close those deals? Extract that over the course of a week, a month and you get an idea the pace we're all moving at now.

It will be exciting to see where our momentum carries us. One of the unique things about Techstars is because each class is so small, you really get a sense of camaraderie. You become friends and you wish each other the best (but always maintain friendly competition). It will be interesting to see where our trajectories take us 1 year, 3 years, 10 years from now. Studying the paths of startups in past classes, it seems like there are many more ups and downs ahead. It never gets easier. I remember during Rand Fishkin's talk, he shared how Brad Feld told him that every successful company has endured a near death experience, when momentum plummeted toward complete failure. I remember thinking, in that case, every company endures a near death experience because even the unsuccessful ones encounter near death before death, but I digress...

And so as we prepare for Demo Day, we're preparing our exit from Techstars into the wild, and hoping to carry as much momentum with us as possible. These three months have been crazy, and these next several years will be even more. Nov 6 will not only mark the end of our 3-month Techstars experience, but the entrance into a much larger arena. Luckily, we’re not going to be at the starting line pushing off the blocks from a dead stop; we’re going to be already sprinting at full speed.


Shane Wey is the co-founder & CEO of MightySignal and is part of the 2014 Techstars Seattle program. You can follow him on Twitter @Legendary_Shane. Watch Shane pitch at the Techstars Demo Day on Nov. 6th - Find out how you reserve a ticket here

Don't forget to Reserve your ticket for the Techstars Demo Day Launch Party on Nov. 6th. at 6:30 PM at Showbox SoDo. This is Seattle's best opportunity to network with entrepreneurs, investors, and Techstars mentors, founders, and staff.