Surabhi has a great article on her views on what kinds of startups and what kinds of people survive over the first few years in the startup phase.
Read her What it takes to start a business post.
My thoughts on this (considering we work together) …
In the 2 to 3 year phase … it is also easy to survive as a startup (is it still called that?) if you have taken the time to step outside the box, and look at your business, your market, your product from an outsiders perspective. This allows you to reinvent your company in real-time and makes room for changes that are stretching your resources to the max. It is easy to make an “accomodating problem” into part of the “business process” if you spare some time.
This is never easy. Doubly so for the entrepreneur who has spent the last few years eating, breathing and living his dream company. You get so caught up in the activity of doing business that you forget the activity of living your dream.
Also, this reminds me of something I recently read (dunno where) that stated that ideas, energy, excitement and ambition are all the initial drivers for startups and entrepreneurs but the real success lies in stamina to work long hours, slog through nights and remain persistent. With employees. With customers.