How Founder’s Syndrome Derails Organizations: When The Vision Outgrows The Founders and original Managers

Anna-Lisa Natchev
5 min readJan 31

As a business grows and advances beyond its founders, the impact of Founder’s Syndrome can become distressingly clear. It can be challenging for those who invested their time in establishing something from the ground up to contemplate trying something new and acknowledging all that comes with this shift within an organization.

Too often, company leaders are brought on board due to familiarity, and the beliefs of what is successful or unsuccessful in a business environment are hastily imparted onto any new hire joining the team.

As a result, countless businesses need help to develop concise Go To Market plans and executable expansion strategies.

I often notice that many people wish to think innovatively and take on a growth-hacking approach, mimicking the efficient startup mentality. Nevertheless, when it comes to implementing reform, excuses and rejections tend to arise — people don’t want to accept the need for basic improvements before any investments in marketing will yield tangible returns.

Sales strategies require experimentation and testing to ensure they will be effective. Declarations like “We have tried it before, did not work” are enough to hinder potential growth opportunities since the actual value of marketing lies in attempting different messages on various channels with specific campaigns tailored towards particular ideal customer profiles (ICP).

Even the most ambitious founders and managers become hesitant when asked to try something that has already failed but with different messages, target customers, value propositions, tools, or people.

This is a complex request for entrepreneurs and executives who are used to taking risks; however, it could be rewarding if they vary their strategies until success is achieved.

Suppose you lack knowledge of the whole growth wheel, touchpoints, and how different activities interact with each other during a customer’s buying process. In that case, it is pretty easy to write off specific tactics as “not working” when there may be an issue, such as outdated landing pages or complicated free trials preventing conversions. Therefore, it is critical to…

Anna-Lisa Natchev

SaaS Growth Navigator | Nordic Mythology Aficionado | Leadership Illuminator | Medium Storyteller