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Can goal-setting be destructive to your long-term performance?

There is a psychology study that suggest you can attain better performance by either being in a lead, or a first follower, when the distance between the 1st and the 2nd player is very close, thus pushing both for a fierce competition. But is that really healthy?

Startups are a multi-year adventure and although being driven by a competition might work for a sport, in a short run, is it really possible to keep this pace over many years? Some founders suggest it is not. Jason Fried, the founder of Basecamp, went as far as suggesting there should be no goals at all.