Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Startup Life: Exploding Head Syndrome

 We have been busy getting our next version out with all the new features and customized look and feel. That explains why we haven't been blogging for a while now. Have said that, we know that zero blogging is not the best of strategies for startup, even if it is a B2B company. So now onwards you will be seeing some short blogs getting posted once in a week or two.

Our product development is going into full swing, things are hectic and crazy. We are following iterative development cycles with code drops to the UAT happening almost every day. Like all startups, we have too many things to do and too little resources at hand. Of all the resources, time is our biggest constraint, this is because we are juggling too many things at a time than we would like to.

 So to get the most out of a day, I started cutting down on sleep. Days with 3 to 4 hours became the norm, the idea of normal sleep on a bed just disappeared. Dozing of in front of the computer was the way I sleep. Initially this was the very tough thing to do, especially waking up in the morning after just a couple of hours sleep. Tough it might be but if you do it everyday, it becomes a habit. So after a while things started looking "normal" except for little lethargic feeling and drowsy afternoons. Everything was going on fine till about a month ago. I was walking to my car and suddenly there this loud cracking sound and I looked around to see if someone has thrown a firecracker at me. I was pretty sure there was firecracker going off very close and there was not even a smoke, that was odd. Then it happened again, it was then that I realized that it was happening inside my head. I thought I was going mad, one has to be mad to hear sound in your head, right?

It seems that is not necessary, what I was experiencing was a condition called the "Exploding head syndrome". For me it was sleeplessness and stress that caused the pop in the head. It is said to be a very rare condition and has no adverse effects other than being a annoyance. Now I am making sure that I get 5 hours sleep daily on weekdays and I sleep little longer on week ends. I have also started walking for half an hour every day. These changes seems to be working, I haven't had another event in last couple of weeks.

I don't know if there are others who have had similar experiences. Chances are that there are other startup founders who are pushing their limits and have had similar experiences. I think it would be comforting to know that there are others going through same things as you are.