The secret to startup magic

Alexander Lyadov
2 min readJun 12, 2022



“At Stripe, the main thing I took away is that when you combine high energy, sound judgment, low ego, and small teams, you just get magic,” says Shreyas Doshi, now an advisor to fast-growing startups, and former product leader and engineer at Stripe, Twitter, Google, Yahoo, etc.

These may not be sufficient conditions for the success of a new business project, but they are 100% necessary, otherwise, it just won’t take off. But why these exact requirements? My experience in co-founding and helping launch companies from various industries suggests that it’s all about speed of decision-making.

By definition, any initial stage takes place in an ocean of chaos, when the waves of uncertainty mercilessly beat the project, spinning, twisting and trying to drown it. As it happens in an extreme situation, during a surgery or a wrestling match, it is necessary to analyze, decide and act with lightning speed, because the reality severely punishes slow-witted, laggards and idlers.

High energy is needed to overcome the inertia of the surrounding business environment clinging to the status quo. Sound judgment gets rid of dangerous illusions, reducing iteration time. Low ego saves limited resources without squandering them on psychological defenses, intrigue, and power struggles. A compact team fuses individuals into a single “organism,” leveling their weaknesses and multiplying their strengths. As a result, what your competitors require weeks and months, and therefore many millions of dollars of investment, your project makes in a couple of days, creating an advantage out of nothing. And even if you tell them your secret, your competitors can do nothing quickly. Because changing your mindset is the hardest thing to do.

Yours sincerely,


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As a business therapist, I help tech founders quickly solve dilemmas at the intersection of business and personality, and boost company value as a result.



Alexander Lyadov

As a business therapist, I help tech founders increase the value of their business by unlocking the potential of their personality.