When you meet someone from the startup ecosystem in a ‘businessy’ environment, you basically try to exchange ideas, feed-backs and contacts to see if you can help them or if they can help you. I call this short but very important interaction - the Swap.
By being around people who do this very effectively, I have noticed a pattern which I explain below in detail. I have also included excerpts of actual dialogue I had with one of GOAP members last week in Zagreb to help you show what to do and what not to do.
The conversation pattern I noticed consists of 3 parts I call: Intro, The swap and Follow up.
1. INTRO (lasts about 30 sec)
Every conversation starts with a simple introduction. You introduce each other and maybe drop in something about the person you’re talking to. It can be something funny, a comment about their looks etc ( basically anything as long as it is genuine and appropriate ). This adds a human and casual dimension to conversation.
Here’s the excerpt…
I have found that accelerating problem solving and creativity seldom works. For me, those activities require a period of mental digestion. First I need to see what the challenge is and than I let it settle and cook in the background. I do not neglect it, nor do I obsess over it. I do not rush. I know it will come. Like a fisherman waiting for the catch.
It is OK when this period lasts for a few hours, but what if it lasts for a few days, weeks, months? Most people just wait for the process to pass, reasoning that it will pass more quickly. But the reality is, the answer wont come much quicker and you will loose a LOT of time and energy in the process. Better to focus on something else while keeping digesting that problem in the background.
Stop serialising problems and embrace parallelism. Long before long you will manage to have a healthy amount of problems constantly cooking in the brain. Another benefit is that you open the path to innovation since unexpected connections form as the consequence of various problems you’re trying to solve.
Just be careful not to become the absent anti-social zombie, constantly consumed in digesting problems. Learn to let go and invoke at will.
I have trouble staying entertained by something for a longer period of time. I have had many hobbies and dropped them all. I have trained a lot of sports and stopped them all. Over the course of time I tried to figure out, as unbiased as I can, why that is.
Most naive reason that comes to mind is being a generalist. “I am just wired that way. I like to figure out how something works, move on to something new and connect the two in a new way. Not figure out the 1st thing to perfection.” And while that is very true for me, I recently discovered another one - burning out.
Whenever I start something new, I tend to explore it with such intensity that I simply exhaust myself. I loose that sense of playfulness and exploration. And I move on to the next thing felling cursed and chased. Well, not anymore.
The key is to recognise the dangers of burning out and to prevent it. Don’t do the thing you are interested in all day every day. Limit yourself, and you shall revive all the initial joy you felt when you first started.
Practice balance in everything.
"Pain is temporary, quitting lasts forever."Lance Armstrong
Just one incredible video… That is all…
I recently found out that Harvard has their Computer Science classes online and in video form. This is just beyond amazing. Click on the picture to view the video.
"There is no one single world. Only six and a half billion understandings of it."Drew Dudley
Video below portrays exactly how I feel every single day. Gary V is the fucking man.
Here I am making this video, hoping that one fucker… ONE FUCKER!… Says :”Shit yeah! Fuck mom! Fuck professor Tom. Fuck what the intuiton of other people is. I’m gonna listen to mine.” The establishment. The blueprint. Fuck all that. Just listen to yourself. Listening to yourself always wins.
Do I have angst?… Sure! I call myself out every day for the past 6 or 7 years… Telling everybody I’m gonna buy the New York Jets… I’m 36… Getting older… Worrying about the time. But still betting on patience. Betting on ‘I’ve been right!’. Betting on getting better every year.”
I have embraced the fact that I am an idiot. I cant memorise shit. Especially when imposed on me. But with time I found out that my brain is not that stupid as I thought.
I realised that by forgetting, my brain is telling me what stuff is important and what is not. A perfect bullshit detector!
I realised he is not randomly chosing wich information to remember or dismiss. He choses based growth potential.
Yor brain loves to grow. There is not a single human on earth who doesn’t enjoy learning. Only thing that is different for people are the things they enjoy learning.
If the info you’re trying to remember isn’t all that interesting to him, he will just label it as ‘noise’ and try to dismiss it. If on the other hand he finds the information intriguing and fascinating, he will work double time.
The tricky part is figuring and accepting what you should grow into. Too many people chose based on assumptions and other peoples expectations. Too few with their own head.
People don’t seem to understand.
They don’t realise it is not about becoming ‘the next Facebook’ (whatever that is). They don’t understand that it is not about money. Not about fame. Not about ego contest or trend. Not about confetty and techno boat parties. Here’s a random funny video :)
Allthough the guy above is very likeable, I don’t think he understans that startup is a mindset engraved deep within entrepreneurs soul. A fundamental urge to make a dent in the universe. It is about creating something great from nothing.