# Local Minimums and Local Maximums

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2024-05-16 17:30:06

In high school I considered myself to be pretty good at math. I took single and multivariable calculus, even linear algebra. So freshman year in college was especially humbling when I met folks who were actually good at math – I think we all know the type.

These days, as a founder, the math I do mostly lives in excel, but my calculus has not totally deserted me. In fact, over time I have come to realize that the process of building a company can be well described as a series of local minimums and local maximums.

Each day spent going from zero to one presents a series of highs and lows. In the moment, these can feel tremendous: the best and worst moments, careening from one to the other. In this context, I think it’s also easier to focus on the lows and let them have an outsized impact despite equal wins.

Taken as a package, however, the sum of these parts might help us paint a different picture. From a 10,000 foot view, if we add up these local minimums and maximums and observe a positive number, the company in fact has upward velocity, our first derivative.