Getting on the Plane

This story is essentially startup lore — it’s as if you haven’t done something like this then you’re not a “real” startup. Puaha.

But, seriously.

What would you be willing to do to close a big, life-changing deal for your early-stage company?

And I’ve heard (as I’m sure you’ve heard…) all of the great and heroic stories of startup founders jumping on a literal plane at the last minute to close that one high-profile deal that would end up being the turning point for the young, fledgling company.

Sounds pretty sweet, right? Makes for a fantastic story. The problem is that it over-indexes on the idea that big “wins” require a singular, large decision — that’s rarely ever the case. Even worse is that it perpetuates the lie that a single account or sale is all that’s necessary for an early-stage company to make it.

Nope. Complete and utter bullshit.

A startup company is the sum of every decision that’s been made up until that point in time, the big ones and the small ones — they all add up. It might seem as if a single decision made the difference but it was the thousands of decisions prior that created the very context for the decision that is now at hand.

This is especially true during large-scale team and organizational transformations: What really ends up happening is the cumulative impact of hundreds of small, important, and impactful decisions happening at a rapid-fire pace.

My team gets on that proverbial “plane” every single day, multiple times a day. Thankfully, we never have to leave our chair. This is what’s nice when you build a distributed-first company: