I like this description by Porter Erisman, reflecting on loc 1923 of Alibaba’s World about his experience as head of PR for the company up until soon after its IPO:
WORKING IN A fast-growing start-up is a bit like running a marathon. It’s an endurance test, filled with highs and lows. At times you want to give up. And at times you feel the wind at your back. It pushes you to your limits—mentally, physically, and emotionally. It always requires 100 percent commitment, and there is no such thing as cruise control.