Two Lines: Failure and Real Failure and Founder Magic

David Paul
2 min readJan 10


I was interviewing Brad Thomas of Evercast yesterday, and he spoke about Ben Horowitz best selling book — Hard Things about Hard Things. It is a wonderful collection of stories of the hardened silicone valley founder’s trials and tribulations through the internet boom. In one chapter, he goes into depth about founders always having one move to make:

This is not checkers; this is motherfuckin’ chess — There is always a move

Horowitz is describing that great founders can muster “one last move” to pull out of complete defeat- whether it is getting a customer, completing a fundraise, saving a customer, etc.

I have seen it happen again and again. I was talking to a founder friend of mine the other day. He is stepping down as CEO, and he was panicked about making payroll before he leaves. He had to come up with 3,400 dollars. My natural co-dependent instinct wanted to give him the money, but I remembered founder magic. So I called him a couple of days later- and guess what? He made payroll.

Finding founders that will always know that there is always a move to make is crucial. I have seen many founders in 2022 throw in the towel because of normal trials and tribulations in startup land.