The Law of Hedonic Asymmetry Applied to Startup Life

Pleasure is always contingent on change and disappears with continuous satisfaction. Meanwhile, pain persists as a constant aversive condition.

What this looks like on a given week

By Thursday of the week, you’ve:

  • Successfully pitched 11 (ELEVEN!!!) potentially new clients
  • Everyone asks for pricing at the end of the pitch
  • 2 request for proposals immediately
  • 8 of them say, “this is amazing; you all really figured this out.”
  • Two renewals
  • One upgrade
  • Launched new features (one client can’t stop raving about how responsive you are)
  • Had one client say they want to downgrade their package.

Sunday night, you still can’t sleep because you’re wondering what you did wrong and you can’t let it go.

When you’re a founder, your company is your baby and it consumes your attention. How that attention is applied is incredibly important.

Other mental models to be considerate of here: Negativity bias, optimism bias, Hanlon’s Razor, and availability bias.

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