It is actually incredible to think that 6 years ago I humbly began my design practice (in what was the worst crisis the Irish economy had ever found itself in! At the time I rallied to get clients and do good design work. It was extremely tough and fraught with self-doubt and of course the obligatory mistakes, that surely would make me stronger one day!
What a stormy year to start though, 2009 was grim! Budgets were pulled for most design activities and many companies just evaporated into thin air. A friend of mine recently told me about an interview with Will Smith, about his incredible work ethic (you can watch it here). He basically speaks about how hard he has worked for everything he has. "When the other guy was having fun, he was working". He talks about how his strong work ethic has made him the success he is today.
I'm not saying I'm Will Smith lol! far from it in terms of the success that guy has had, but I think I absolutely share his grit & determination and his irrepressible work ethic! What else could have got me through those first tentative years!
So what advice might I give to a startup... DO IT!! Life is full of uncertainties anyway, and if you are passionate and have self-belief you will succeed. Visualise the road to success and you will get there.