We recently formalized our engineering principles. Principles are important to guide and make people find out the best decisions, especially when faced to different situations. However, it is a waste of time for routines and common sense. That is why we also need practices to accelerate the process of making decisions. But not having principles and just practices are also bad since your team will just follow rules and don’t really think.
Practices could change over time, principles usually don’t. Have both when scaling.
The pain will always exist. No matter the size of your company. No matter how experienced you became. No matter how the context changed for the better. It does not matter at all.
It is the same for high-performance athletes: it will never become easy or painless, they actually train and change to support it. After thinking and acting like that, you truly discover that you can get more pain than was used to. And then more, and more. Finally, you discover that your pain tolerance can be much higher. It then becomes an advantage for yourself and the company.
The real question for being successful: how much pain can you get? Are you mentally prepared?