The Startup Chat with Steli and Hiten on Smash Notes

The Startup Chat with Steli and Hiten podcast.

December 31, 2019

Unfiltered insights and actionable advice straight from the trenches of startup and business life. The show hosts, Steli Efti and Hiten Shah, are both serial entrepreneurs who have founded multi-million dollar SaaS startups. Being busy CEOs of fast-growing companies, they know the value of your time and make sure you get the most out of each 22 minute episode. Tune in for new episodes every Tuesday and Friday.



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In today’s episode, Steli and Hiten discuss “FOMO” or fear of missing out which is a common experience for a lot of entrepreneurs and founders. This fear tends to crop up, especially in people who are struggling in their businesses rather than people who have thriving businesses. Instead of concentrating on other people’s success, entrepreneurs should focus on their own work and customers. Tune-in to find out how to deal with this fear by engaging in self-introspection and why being comfortable in your own skin is your ultimate defense.

Time Stamped Show Notes:


00:27 – Today’s topic is about “FOMO” or “Fear of missing out”

00:45 – Do not get distracted by new, shiny startups on the block, and instead concentrate on your work and customers

02:03 –  Steli shares a personal anecdote about a time when he came across a couple of founders who had made a killing by trading in cryptocurrencies


02:16 – They were very enthusiastic about it and kept talking about it

02:32 – This affected a lot of other people on the boat and they felt as though they were missing out

02:59 – Steli also started feeling bad; he felt he missed out investing in cryptocurrencies


03:13 – “Somebody is always getting richer than you—that is not a tragedy”

03:23 – Avoid making investments without a solid strategy in place; don’t invest for the sole reason of missing out

05:40 – This “fear of missing out” is evident as lot of startups attempt to imitate their more successful counterparts

06:00 – Hiten’s 3 year old daughter recently told her mother, “You do you, I do me”

06:50 – “FOMO” is especially relevant when businesses are buying and selling stuff

08:43 – Loss of passion, discipline and drive are common reasons for having “FOMO”—the other likely reason is undergoing a prolonged business struggle

09:12 – Rationalize your fears before making investment decisions

10:36 – Once you become more comfortable in your skin, the fear of missing out tends to dissipate

12:10 – Steli remembers an experiment carried out on rats to illustrate his point


12:10 – A lonely rat in a cage got addicted to heroin-infused water

12:40 – Once other rats were introduced into the cage, the rats were less likely to try the heroin-infused water since they were busy socializing

12:55 – Parallels can be drawn to humans


13:16 – “If you are totally fulfilled with your life and your business, if you are proud of what you are doing and your business is doing well, you are probably not going to be hit by the fear of missing out”

15:42 – End of today’s episode


3 Key Points:


Beware and do not get distracted by the new shiny startup—focus on your customers and your work.

Rationalize and assess whether an investment decision is right for you; don’t just jump because you’re blindly following others.

Be comfortable in your own skin to avoid falling prey to “FOMO”.


Steli Efti:


Hey, everybody, this is Steli Efti.


Hiten Shah:


This is Hiten Shah.


Steli Efti:


Today what we're going to talk about is FOMO in startup so fear of missing  out when you're a founder or you're a startup. I think we've talked about this  hidden in the variety of ways in past episodes but never really directly and with  the focus on. A lot of the advice that we give can be summarized at,  don't worry about what everybody else is doing, focus on your customer, focus on the  problems they have. Have customer insight and intimacy and that's always going to lead you  in the right direction and at the end of the day to success. Don't be  distracted by the shiny fad, by what's fashionable, by what everybody else is doing, whatever  the recent article you read about this new startup, the unicorn startup that exploded. About  the recent growth hacks, some online marketing guru's sharing with you.

Key points in this episode

In this episode

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