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When we were building Flickr, we worked very hard. We worked all waking hours, we didn’t stop. My Hunch cofounder Chris Dixon and I were talking about how hard we worked on our first startups, his being Site Advisor, acquired by McAfee – 14-18 hours a day. We agreed that a lot of what we then considered “working hard” was actually “freaking out”. Freaking out included panicking, working on things just to be working on something, not knowing what we were doing, fearing failure, worrying about things we needn’t have worried about, thinking about fund raising rather than product building, building too many features, getting distracted by competitors, being at the office since just being there seemed productive even if it wasn’t – and other time-consuming activities. This time around we have eliminated a lot of freaking out time. We seem to be working less hard this time, even making it home in time for dinner.

Caterina Fake – Working hard is overrated – Sept 25, 2009

Startups are hard. They require an insane amount of hard work and stress. But I like how Caterina calls out the difference between freaking out vs working hard.