Happy 7th Birthday, Armory!

Aug 21, 2023 by Ben Mappen

Happy 7th birthday, Armory!

Today we’re celebrating Armory’s 7th birthday. The parenting/startups analogy is somewhat overused but timely as many families (at least in the US) are sending their kids back to school this week. They say that parenting doesn’t get easier with age – the challenges simply change as children grow, undoubtedly true for startups as well. These challenges, while scary due to entering the unknown, are also welcomed. We welcome them because perseverance through challenges drives growth, not just in the startup (or child), but in ourselves, and this growth is incredibly fulfilling.

Fulfillment is the keyword here. In a recent Lex Friedman podcast with Marc Andreessen, they discuss the differences between happiness vs fulfillment. Asking someone “are you happy?” is the wrong question. Happiness is an emotion; it’s transient and fleeting. Sometimes we’re happy and sometimes we’re not. A better question to ask is “are you fulfilled?”. Fulfillment is a state of being that is long-lived. These past seven years have been exceptionally fulfilling, and to my surprise as a self-proclaimed “early-stage guy”, the last few have been most rewarding.

But why are startups fulfilling? This answer is simple. Startups are chock-full of challenging problems; you’ll find them everywhere, all the time, and at every stage of growth (infancy, toddlerhood, and beyond). And doing hard things is fulfilling. Doing easy things give you a short dopamine hit, but quickly gets old. Imagine taking a three-month tropical vacation. While also impractical and costly, you’ll likely grow bored after just a few weeks, a sufficient amount of time to re-energize.

As we enter our eighth year of life, I encourage you all to seek out new challenges. Push yourself to do hard things. In a startup like Armory, these are easy to find. They exist at bigger companies too but you may have to look harder. Find them, commit to solving them, and I promise you’ll win some extra fulfillment points in the game of life.


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