I remember vaguely sitting in a taco bar in San Francisco the couple next to us spoke nonchalantly about a dev escapade with Pandora. The woman giggling clearly enthralled by his storyline and decisively humble conversational attitude. All the while I’m unkindly ease dropping,
You mean the Pandora on my phone, I’m saying to myself…
Baffled by his grace and seriously considering deleting Spotify just to pay homage to the conversation. A few days later in an Uber ride the Chief Sales toddler of what now seems to be a booming startup according to funding reports says, “hey here’s my card”. A young entrepreneur in his 20 somethings (CST remark obviously sarcasm) with baby hair on his chin and I say
“What do you sell?” , to which he responds, “oh a bunch of things I’m not really sure I’m not the tech guy but we’re fully funded”.
And so was the journey of what’s basically a tourist’s mind in the valley of the owl. Fascinating I thought. Running back to my 30 foot-wide island enamored by the spell of a salty-aired San Francisco – the Startup capital of the world.
Let’s start something I said…
Every government agency and educational institution with their doors open wondering what the hell this starry-eyed Chamorita wanted to build.
I want to build a culture. A new one, the kind the makes for great bedtime stories, 100 IPOs in 20 years we can manage that, right?
Yes, but …. How do you get paid doing that now, they ask.
“Who cares” I say, knowing damn well that my 80k education is kicking me in my gut screaming,
we taught you better damnit.
We’re be building a center for entrepreneurship, helping people turn their passions into commerce, and effectively create a new blue ocean economy, Sounds great but what now?
Shit, I’m an accelerator that needs a freakin’ incubator…
Culture is worth building. It’s a generational surety it’s what we need. But startup life for the rest of us is not as simple as everyone thinks. I’m sure the folks in SF are saying stop making us a cliche it’s not easy here either. And while I’m writing this I’m beginning to agree with the anti-cliche side of easy life as a startup.
Damn straight, it’s not EASY anywhere. Every startup is required to put in work, wherever you go you gotta do the work. But not many people ever really care to follow the startup journey before they hit it big. Just the other day I remember Gary Vee on the Breakfast Club sharing that he passed on his buddy’s startup, twice mind you. That Startup is now Uber the iconic industry disruptor. Even people with friends in high places have to experience the struggle, rejection the whole nine yards. A mentor of mine recently told me that the tech industry is much smarter now than it was before. And I believe him. If we weren’t getting smarter in tech as entrepreneurs or investors we might as well just quit now.
We talk too much, title too much, whiteboard too much, We need to start doing TOO Much. That is the secret. It doesn’t matter how adept you are or how friggin’ deep your pockets are the NEW startup ain’t no easy feat for anyone.
Today, in Startups “the rest of us” is “all of us”.
Whatever table you’re sitting at has the same potential as every other table. You still need that big idea, you still need a team as committed as you, you still need talent, you still need a revenue model, and you most definitely need guts.
Furthermore, no matter how you slice it every single founder is asking themselves the same basic questions.
– Will this work?
– What about my family?
– Where can we find or get the money?
– Can we just say we’re prerev?
– Is this feasible?
– How do we stop competing?
– How do I stay alive?
– How did they do it?
The simple answers are that there are no short steps aside from the silver spoon. But even then I can’t hate on silver spoons because somewhere in that genealogy someone had to experience “the come up”. And so can you, hell so can I.
The truth is for every obstacle you face there is a solution. Find the solution and make it happen be a do-er. You might be slow, you might need to learn patience (like me), you will need to master highly competitive skills but you can do it none the less.
As I’m telling this story I realize this post is turning into a hoorah / motivation rant. Which I’m profoundly surprised by since the 40% creative inside me usually strays away from writing in “believe in the power of you” posts. But honestly I’ve spent the past few years trying to decipher the code. What makes someone great? What makes them incredibly able to change the world? How does a startup make a real significant life changing impact?
I’ve read the books, listened to the podcasts, attended the webinars, even channeled the Akashic Records
– The magic of thinking big
– How do win friends and influence people
– Breakthrough Advertising
– The Boron Letters
– Think and Grow Rich
– The Art of War
– The Richest Man In Babylon
– The New Psycho-cybernetics
– As a man thinketh
– Rich Dad Poor Dad
– The 4 Quadrants
– The Secret
– The Law of Success in 16 Lessons
– the endless list of autobiographies
There is no secret sauce. There is however an obsessive sauce. One that requires you to face yourself and find the courage to be extraordinary and do extraordinary shit. We are so limited by known languages that we stop writing books because we wonder who will read it, use it, or heck even understand it. But let’s really consider all the great civilizations in this world. I wonder, I mean really truly wonder, if the Egyptians stopped to think hey maybe we shouldn’t use hieroglyphs to tell our story because people in 2016 might not understand exactly what we are saying. The constraints of existing realities are illusive they only exist because we succumb to the idea that a changing world is somehow idle and mysteriously denying you the same opportunity as everyone else.
Before I end this conversation I want to leave you with this thought by Nikola Tesla
Of all the frictional resistances, the one that most retards human movement is ignorance, what Buddha called ‘the greatest evil in the world.’ The friction which results from ignorance … can be reduced only by the spread of knowledge and the unification of the heterogeneous elements of humanity. No effort could be better spent.