Today was a bad day.
I woke up to several emails alerting to me that Triberr was down. This sometimes happens when the database backup times out, but it’s usually resolved by the time I get up. Today was a little different in that the server was still offline.
My morning routine is very tight, and I don’t have minutes to spare, so I hopped in the shower and considered the best way to get the server online. I decided to give Rackspace a call as I walked to my morning train – which is exactly what I did.
As I stepped outside my door, I called Rackspace and began explaining what the problem was when I heard it – the train. The train was early, by almost 10 minutes! I started to make a run for it, but I had Rackspace support on the line, so I could only give a 3/4ths speed jog to try and catch the train while trying to remember my Rackspace customer ID.
I arrived at the train just in time for the doors to close in front of me. As I walked back to my apartment in defeat, Rackspace explained how serious the server failure was, and the site was not coming back online soon. In fact, it’s been almost 12 hours, and they’re still working to get things restored.
It was a miserable day all around, but that’s just part of running a business. It doesn’t matter what size company you are, there will be highs and lows for the rest of your company’s life.
If you’re a startup you’ll have downtime, hacking attacks, founders leave and investors decline meetings.
As a medium sized company you’ll have hiring freezes, disgruntled employees, lost clients and bad press.
As a large company you’ll have law suits, PR nightmares, recalls and stock price drops.
It doesn’t matter how small or large your business gets, there will always be bad days. The question is whether those days simply delay you reaching your vision, or if they crash and burn your plane.
If it’s a simply delay, then you can always make up time in the air (raise a big round of funding, hire a superstar employee, announce a new feature at a big conference, etc). If it’s a crash and burn day, then put on your parachute and jump. If you make it out alive you can always fine a new plane, preferably one with better auto-pilot.