Yes. You will lose friends on many levels if you build a successful start-up.
If you co-found a company with friends, it’s likely one of them won’t go the distance. And it’s likely that will end up souring the relationship, at least partially. Doing a start-up with a great friend can be very powerful. Just bear in mind, it can also make the break-up a lot tougher.
You’ll also start to have less in common with some of your old friends who aren’t on the super intense founder journey. It’s just so much more intense and all-consuming that an individual contributor or even “ordinary” manager role. Your friends with that great life as line engineers at Google or Facebook … you’ll start to have less in common with them.
The good news is, you’ll also gain great new friends:
As you scale, you’ll bond with other CEOs and founders at your level.
You’ll have much in common with other CEOs, You’ll build great relationships with your team members, at least some of them. Later in life, when they aren’t your subordinates anymore, but just ex-colleagues … you’ll look back on some of the Best of Times. You’ll even make some friends in odd places, like partners, press, and more. You’ll have a special language with these friends that you will carry with you forever. You’ll do reunions.