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About a month ago, my other startup half quit. He wanted to find something more stable, and after a year and a half of working incredibly hard on USpin, I definitely empathized with him. Still, it left me in a bit of a lurch. In my personal life, I had finished my MBA at Northeastern, and Jackie was just about to launch into her MFA at BU. Like it or not, it was time for change, and my friend leaving was the last push.

As you can imagine, the lurch was tough to get out of. There were a lot of ends that needed tying, and even more that weren’t even able to be tied (for the moment), and as with all things – balance. Working 10+ hours every day for months on end has a profoundly stressful effect on people, and it was time for a break. But what is a non-technical founder to do?

The answer, of course, was to bake bread. For some reason, I gravitated to the kitchen to experience the catharsis that comes with creating (or at least trying to create) something delicious to enjoy and share. Not being one to shy away from a challenge, I was determined to make gluten-free vegan bread.

I was a little disappointed when the first loaf came out looking (and tasting) kind of like a flax-infused brick, but disappointment is not a deterrent. I learned from the brick. I embraced the brick. And then I made a better brick. And another one. And eventually, through repetition and research, I found myself making edible, delicious bread.

bread use

It takes a lot for me to get discouraged, and I can tell you that seeing my friend leave USpin definitely did the trick. But without his departure, there might have been no brick. There might have been no failure. There might have been no edible, delicious bread. But he did leave, and there was bread, and the adventure is continuing.

Go bake a brick, and then bake another. Eventually you’ll bake enough bricks to build something great, and you’ll learn from each terrible loaf in between.


This was originally posted on Ethan’s Blog, which you can visit here.


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Ethan Bagley