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Many Small Business Owners Might Suffer From 'founderitis'

Written by Ken Gaebler
Published: 2/9/2010

A humorous disease well articulates the plights of startup business owners.

The pressure to perform can stress many small business owners, especially as the U.S. government expects them to help turn around the economy. In recent news for entrepreneurs, GigOm's Om Malick has identified a new ailment of the startup community called founderitis.

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Malick says, "Founderitis is a side effect of being a startup guy." Malick, who recently founded GigaOm - a technology information forum - offers fellow small business owners some tell-tale signs that they might suffer the disease.

One indication is that a business owner mistakes insomnia for work ethic. This is often coupled with the "constant urge to do everything," as well as obsessing over things which an entrepreneur has no actual control over.

Another warning that a business owner might have founderitis is a constant need to check Twitter, Facebook, and Google Reader. He says many who suffer from the ailment are obsessed with monitoring what people are saying about the company.

While Malick jokes about the disease and plights of a startup business owner, close attention to detail might actually benefit small business owners.

A recent marketing report from BtoB magazine suggests that tracking what clients say about a business on social media provides a unique, direct marketing opportunity that can create invaluable trust in a new brand.

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