Depression among tech founders is not uncommon. The stress of the startup life and the constant quest for demonstrable improvements and growth can become a self-reflection of one’s intrinsic value.
“In 2011, a few months into starting Wahooly—a crowdfunding platform in which backers receive a share in the venture’s success—Dana Severson started to have bouts of debilitating anxiety. The company had started off well, but things had plateaued lately. ‘You see other people getting press and doing things faster than you and it makes you second guess every single skill that you have,’ he says. But Severson didn’t tell anybody about his feelings. He couldn’t, he felt, because he had to be a good leader.
“Theres a lot of money at stake in this world—it's not only the investors that you need the confidence of, it’s also your co founders and employees,” he says. ‘I couldn’t allow them to have any sort of doubt in my ability to perform.’”