If you are a founder, please read Jeff Bezos’s letter to Amazon shareholders. He does a great job of distilling why it’s so difficult to build a great company.
What he describes as a Day 2 company would include the majority of businesses around us, including many market leaders. He describes Day 2 as sometimes taking decades – extreme slow motion.
It is very, very difficult to stay in Day 1 mode. I am not even sure Amazon’s succeeding there, as it’s also tough to tell.
However, customer obsession is one way you can try to stay in Day 1 mode, and avoiding proxies and celebratory narratives will help you along the way. However, it won’t help you feel good.
Entrepreneurship rarely feels good.