Persistence or Quit

We’re in the middle of some significant decisions as a team and I couldn’t be more proud of my team in terms of how we handle the tough calls.

(Although, I’m not sure there is ever a time where we are not in a moment of critical decision-making as a startup…)

Luckily I’ve survived (and that’s really the right word) a handful of startups previously and I see the same patterns emerge.

Ultimately, we as a leadership and organization will face the quesiton of whether we need to continue to pursue the current course or take a different one. It’s about persevering or pivoting (not a super-fan of this word, btw…). It’s about persistence in one direction or quitting it entirely.

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On Tools and Culture

Oftentimes we mistake issues that we have with the tools that we use with the actual culture in which we use them.

In fact, sometimes I’ve heard of some organizations hype up a particular piece of technology or tool as their culture. I have found that very odd.

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On New Adventures

roenne-bus

The bus.

Where did my small child go? She disappeared so quickly!

I sat on step for a moment as I watched the yellow bus move up the hill and out of my line of sight. Time has moved too quickly my friends!

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On Listening Well

Mark Zuckerberg presented a different perspective at Startup School a few years ago where he mentioned that at Facebook they listened to their users both quantitatively and qualitatively.

This is very different from the more Jobs-ian perspective of building what the company believes their users want and not listening as much to the noise from the masses.

I love these varying thoughts and different points of view as I think it’s healthy to consider all points and perspectives; although you shouldn’t do it too frequently, just enough to remember that you don’t hold the golden truth nugget of customer engagement, product development, or business creation.

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Ask for Help

I’ve written about the 5 characteristics I look for in new hires as well as how I think someone can prepare oneself for working in a fast-paced, intense, and super-fun startup and I realize that all those things can really apply to any business, regardless of size.

But one of foundational elements that I’ve been meditating about recently in not just hires but people that I want to work with and for is their propensity to ask for help.

The fact is that most people do not ask for help nearly as often as they should as they have determined, for whatever reason, that it is a sign of apparent weakness. That couldn’t be farther from the truth.

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On Courage

I was once told that courage can be learned; I’m still waiting on the scale to tip in my favor though as I still haven’t learned it well enough.

How does one define courage? I think it is most simply this: Courage is not giving up in the face of adversity. I was going to add “great” before the word adversity but that kind of goes without saying as trivial adversity is not writing home about.

Have you exemplified courageous behavior lately? Have you ever really faced true adversity? Many of us have lived a life so sheltered that we have fabricated stories that seem to highlight acts of courage when all we’ve faced in reality is which path we should choose so that we might succeed a little bit more.

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Analog

There’s something powerful about analog. I love hearing this from the acclaimed musical composer and producer Hans Zimmer and how he helped create the Dark Knight series.

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