I’ve had a crazy, neck deep in a new startup, kind of year.
It’s not new, it’s been the Pendulum I’ve been living for the past many years as an entrepreneur.
I’ve learned over the years that if I can get onto 2 or 3 multi-day “vision quest” backpacking or trips to the backcountry and dive off the grid, I can keep my sanity. That with some weekend stuff and the trips I take the kids on each year for their birthdays is my “balance.”
But due to this year’s intensity, combined with some scheduling and permitting and weather and other non-startup craziness, both my major trips (packrafting this time around) for 2013 where derailed.
So here it is October 9
Amy and I have really gotten into NBC’s, as Wikipedia puts it, “post-apocalyptic science fiction television drama series” Revolution. The premise is that something happens and in a single night, all power on Earth is disabled. It’ good.
A lot of people are predicting similar apocalyptic things for the retail and e-commerce industries. Massive changes? Definitely. Apocalypse? Hardly.
So we set out to try and put some structured thinking around it all, by first looking back over the last 20 years, and then prognosticating about the next 20. We took what we did and just published the first part of a 3 part white paper series called The Retail Supply Chain Revolution. You can download it here:
When we introduce each company, we read their answer to this question: “What 3 lessons/observations would you tell other entrepreneurs?”
1. Don’t try to be an entrepreneur. It is not trendy or cool or the American Dream. It generally sucks, you’re trying to do the impossible by creating and inventing something from nothing, and luck is far more of it that any of us admit….
2. …. Unless you were born this way: the drive for an insane work ethic, the scrappiness to be tenacious and resilient, the charisma to sell and inspire and lead, a misaligned risk/reward and sacrifice “meter”, the competitiveness to win at all
This’ll be quick.
1. Go read this awesome essay by Paul Graham: Startup = Growth
2. Read it again.
3. Stare at this image:
Good. Now you have awesome ideas and text in your mind1. And an awesome picture in your mind2.
Startups take money (and by default time, since, well, you know that one) and you grow. And growth will ultimately get you value. Without growth, you’ve got grandes problemas. Find something that you can measure in the short-term, that aligns in some way shape or form with your long-term vision, and grow the hell out of it.
BTW, have you even seen something grow so fast and awesome that the hell literally just left? I
These grain silos are about 4 miles from where I grew up in Burley, ID. For one of my high school dances, me and a few friends took our dates to the top. Cool, right? See the big bad city of Burley, unique, WAY different. Problem was: They’re grain silos. The dirt and dust up top was literally 16 inches thick. Add in some dudes wearing dark dress clothes, and some ladies wearing long dresses, and things got….how should I say? Powdery? But hey, I’m a farm boy, that’s what you get.
Anyway, this post isn’t a chronology of my high school dates. Granted, that’d be so much better. But this is about Silos in respect to startups and entrepreneurship.
If you run in startup circles (especially if you’re ever interfacing with investors) you are familiar with the role of an Entrepreneur in Residence. It’s an experienced/seasoned entrepreneur in various roles at a Venture Capital firm, or higher education/government institution.
But before you can be an “seasoned” entrepreneur, you start as no entrepreneur at all. Because the only path to entrepreneurship is to be born with certain defective personality characteristics, and then to basically go do it. You can’t learn it in school anymore than watching videos on Youtube can teach you to fly fish. Entrepreneurship is trial and error, mentoring, and apprenticeship.
So mid last year, I was struck that startups don’t have a counterpoint to this prestigious position
Yeah, I’m a dollar late and a two days short. Six weeks in, already missed my Tuesday post this week. Why?
Well that’s the subject of this post. (and it’s not these guys, Pendulum the band. Although they are completely awesome!)
My life’s been pretty nutty last few weeks. Like as in probably most I’ve worked. Ever. Except growing up on the farm. Especially a dairy farm. That’s 7 days a week. 365. If you ever want to know real work, all you/us entrepreneurs out there? Go live/work on a farm for a year. Then you’ll look at startups like the cake walk that they are.
Anyway, you only have so many hours in the day. Until we can bioengineer