When you make a mistake, you own it. You provide apologies and recompense. You seek to listen, understand, and discover correction. You stay humble.
I am the founder of many, many mistakes. I have created them 100 times more often than I have created things that work. I am the author of many more that I am completely ignorant of, the unintentional, the private.
Envisioning the future is dangerous work – it’s all risk and there’s no immediate reward for it.
It requires more of your heart and soul than skills, income, and business strategy. It has the potential to offend providing nothing more than a sliver of justification beyond “Because…” for which you may very well be crucified for (or at least vilified).
But it’s necessary in our line of work in the technology world because what we want to do hasn’t always been done before and it’s impact is a literal unknown (but we know it’s going to be good).
I’ll keep this short and sweet: The parent company of both my apps, Pressgram and DeskPM has been acquihired by Facebook and I’ll be shutting both operations down permanently at the end of this month.
It’s tough to admit, but they had a price that I couldn’t refuse (hey, I’ve talked about this before, so get over it) and the idea that I would never have to work another day in my life was just too good to be true.
If you’re good at something never do it for free. – The Joker, via The Dark Night
I can think of many applications to this (besides chaos, murder, and mayhem a’la Mr. Joker), especially in the technology sphere.
On occasion I’m still asked to do consulting here and there and 99 out of 100 times it’s an easy “No” as I simply do not have time but once in a while there’s a project or client that presents a very different and unique challenge.
And those clients and projects always pay.
My title at The Iron Yard, at least publicly, is Chief Strategy Officer. If you know me at all then you’re already aware that I am not terribly fond of titles to begin with and I oftentimes find myself doing everything but that of simply “strategizing” – every person on this team kicks serious ass and works incredibly hard doing work that is pragmatic and sensible.
And, to be honest, the internal title that I’ve given myself is simply “Asian” and is a much better title I think (organizational culture that allows fun and a bit of light and healthy mischief is always the best!) than my more official one but I understand the need of one to help facilitate general understanding for the outside world.
One of the natural consequences of a growing and changing business is the increased level of complexity that continues to appear. This isn’t a bad thing necessarily and can be positive signal that things are headed in the right direction as long as the complexity isn’t for its own sake and unnecessary.
Consequently, I love it when there’s enough trust with the partners that we can say, oftentimes very candidly, this remark to one another:
Hey, that’s none of your business.
Of course, we then punch each other in the face (virtually, perhaps) and giggle a bit.
Peter Drucker, most famous for his work in business management, once posed the question of whether or not one wanted to build ideas or a company and if one wanted to manage ideas or manage a business.
If it was the former then he has suggested that you not build a big organization because you will end up managing that organization instead of the idea(s) that made you successful.
Definitely some stuff to chew on for more than one sitting…