THE FIRST STARTUP IS YOU
A startup is like getting marooned on an island. One of two things must happen:
You either survive long enough to get rescued, or you give up and die.
That's it. Either one eventuality, or the other.
It's one's duty therefore, to remain scrappy, to live desperately, and shamelessly, disregarding filth and pain, and suffer your way to a rescue (be it acquisition, or a sustainable existence).
Or, you can give up, and then you will die.
If you give up, I guarantee: death will follow.
It may be quick, it may be long and drawn out.
It may be futile, inevitable anyway.
But I guarantee you: if you give up, you will die.
What Man-Fridays would you want on your island? That's your founding team. Oh, to not feel alone in such a situation. If you have them, feel grateful. If not, it's even harder. But there's a second chance at staying sane.
What fires you up and keeps you feeling alive? What power of righteous anger and daring pride drives your desire to create something new for the world? That's your key to staying focussed long enough to find a way to live. That's what will enable you to know your true center of gravity, no matter what tempest may hit you. That's your Wilson.
You need your Wilson. That's the only thing that will keep you going through long nights of the soul.
Try not to worry too much if holding on to your Wilson might make you look crazy to others. It's cool; sometimes there's rationale behind apparent madness. Sometimes pushing the bounds of normal behaviour is the only way to keep your head and humanity in an abnormal situation.
It may look ugly and undignified, but in the end who cares? Who's going to hold your grunts and grimaces against you if means that you get to live? Who cares anyhow?
Hold on to your damned Wilson, and fight, FIGHT to survive.
If you're too chickenshit to fight, then forget it. Go and die already. Come back anew like the phoenix, but first you have to die.