I have been working with a company since it started. I was the only one who coded in a specific language on the team and I had a lot of work to do. It was very obvious from the beginning that this was work for more than one person. I told my boss that I recommended hiring someone else to help me because the work was too much, but he never did. I got more and more behind with my deadlines because it was just too much. Earlier this week my boss sent me an email saying that if I didn't meet the next deadline, there will be no more investment and the company will go under. I know for a fact that I won't be able to meet the deadline, it will take 4x as much time as he asks.
Now I feel guilty because the company is going under because of me. I am not a genius, I just work hard and do my best, and now I am feeling like maybe I am just stupid and that if I had been smarter and cleverer I would have been able to get it all done. I don't even know if a superhero could have done it. I can't work miracles, and my boss puts it all on me. I don't know what to do. Is it okay for him to blame me? How do I tell him his deadline is not going to be met? What do I do???
Thanks everyone for your advice. I don't know how to get into this question again. WhatRoughBeast's answer was spot on, we're a startup. I was intentionally vague because I didn't want my boss to know it's me.
I am a remote worker and so I only talk to my boss over Skype or email. I wrote him a reply saying outlining the stuff he wants me to do and how long it I thought it would take. I also suggested one or two minor things that would save time. He replied organising a meeting on Skype.
It seems like he cooled down since when he wrote the email because at the meeting he was not angry and just wanted to discuss howbwe could get this done as quickly as possible. I usually just say ok and do my best, but this time I said no, that's too much. Something has to go. I feel like I have more power now.
So I have been thinking a lot about should I leave or not. I like this job and this company. After the meeting I feel like I have more power, it's not my fault. I can say no, it's too much. I will be looking for other jobs but will carry on with this one too, doing my best. I want to be in a good standing with this boss, I understand he was just worried about his company. I have less respect for him for saying such things, a tactic to make me feel bad, but he is a human too and apart from this our relationship has been good. So I will give him another (careful) chance, and be sure to be prepared if the company goes under.
Thank you everyone. for your advice and helping me not feel guilty.