The hardest part of running a startup the chaos of information. You have opinions from your team, your investors, what's happening in the market, your users, your plan, your plan B, and everything else. Then you add in the dashboards, the various ratios you're supposed to be tracking, random spikes and valleys in your graphs, data segmented by Facebook, iOS, Android, and a million other variables.
Yet in spite of all of this, every morning you have to wake up and answer: "OK, now what do we do next?" Scary stuff.
I remember the first time I tried to start up a new product with a good friend when I was 14 and just learning how to code. I was consumed with thoughts like, "do we need office space? what should be the name of the company? what about business cards?" among dozens of other things. It was hard to know what to care about.
If you're successful enough to have some financing, a team, and some initial users, then the chaos increases exponentially. For any entrepreneur, it's very hard to know what's important, and what's secondary. What do you have to deal with now, and what can you deal with later? What will kill you, versus what will merely sting It's exactly these messy tradeoffs that constitute the life of a typical entrepreneur.
Within the world of social consumer internet products, I think Twitter's story can teach us a great lesson. They had founder problems right away. They had problems with their investors. They had no technical defensibility - in fact, their architecture meant the site kept crashing throughout its entire early history. They had a huge competitor, in Facebook, that was executing very well. And they had a nonexistent business model.
Yet they nailed their product in a huge market, and 500 million users later, the other stuff managed to fix itself.
I think we can learn a lot from their story about what's important and what you can deal with later. The product and the market are key - not that you don't have to clean up the founder issues and the business model, of course you do - but they're just not as important as getting product/market fit in a big space.
So next time you encounter startup chaos - narrow things down. Focus on the one or two things that matter, and it probably has to do with product and market.