🧠 — a 40-hour a week startup? 😬

Hi, I'm John and these are my candid musings on life and leading a distributed-first, venture-backed startup in San Francisco. Subscribe [ brain.みんな ], , stay woke (my YouTubes) and enjoy.

40-hour a week startup? yaaaas queen!

Hey friends!

It's been another full week and it's almost noon here in San Francisco—I say that to admit that I'm 💯 behind on today's newsletter but I've decided to not stress about it because... I don't have to.

I was chatting with my brother about the topics of stress, anxiety, and general workload and he shared that he's currently feeling as if he's working "20-hour days" which, I think, is unfortunate. BUT, I know what that's like and I've definitely worked many-a-season at this pace (so I didn't give him too much shit).

I do think it's important that you have folks in your life who will call you out on your misbehavior — if you don't, then, no one will and even the smallest of things can compound into a tidal wave of regret.

Trust me, I know. Why? Because I'm a pretty bad offender here too. Which! Is why... I'm working on it, very carefully and intentionally. That is to say, I'm thinking in very broad yet specific strokes as to what I want my business culture to be.

A good example of this is a 40-hour work week. Do you work ~40 hours per week? When was the last time you actually did that?

It's rare in startup world... but just as rare in most industries and geographies, despite the science and research that unambiguously declares that more hours does not equal more meaningful and productive work.

I think the only solution to this disease (and I'll call it that because I think "overwork" is a disease, full stop) is to intentionally decide NOT to run a business that institutionally demands more than 40 hours per week for a full-time paycheck.

Imagine that.

Consequently, for YEN's next evolution, I've decided (with the help of some very encouraging and challenging interviews and candidates) to explicitly build a venture-backed startup on just 40-hours of work a week.

Meaning, I will pay myself and everyone else on my team for just 40-hours of work, every single week—no more and no less.

And this message seems to resonate, especially with the potential hires that I've chatted with over the last 4-5 weeks! So far, I'm batting 100% on the attractiveness of our work culture.

A startup is nothing more than a sequence of important decisions, every single day. If you generally make good decisions more than bad ones, then, you're on the right path.

To infinity and bitcoin.

John Saddington
Chief Cartridge Blower (CEO of YEN)

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