CC: Founders with chips on their shoulders who feel that nothing they do is enough
From: Matt Quinn (2x founder, 1 exit, several side project - overly empathetic person)
Subject: I think I had a break through
I thought I'd drop you a note to say after years of self torture and endless striving to move forward (often times at a detriment to my wellbeing) I think I had a break through.
I found myself on a clubhouse last week with friends Joseph & Julie (there were others) discussing the question - What would you do if money didn't matter.
Somehow the conversation turned to founders as a whole and observations the others had having coached/invested in 100s of teams.
This idea of ghosts came up. The things that haunt founders. That put chips on shoulders and ultimately pockets. The had observed that the same ghost appears in the majority of founders in some ways.
Thinking on my ghosts and the question at hand - it all kind of clicked. What is the thing I can do to bust my ghosts or at least start busting them.
2 days earlier while brushing my teeth I had inadvertently answered this question.
I visualised that it was 9.25am in New York. I call people involved in my ghost and say "hey turn on Bloomberg in 5 minutes", they push back (they're too busy doing something something), "Listen to me, turn on Bloomberg in 5 minutes - I've never asked you for much, please do this"
9.29am comes and I walk out from behind a curtain onto the balcony over the trading floor of the Nasdaq. Today I take my company public.
9.30am strikes, I push the button, the bell rings, confetti falls from the sky, we all cheer and clap.
And it's over. I hope they were watching.
I honestly had the thought "that seems simple enough, yeah, all I need to do is take a company public".
How insane is that? What a twisted sense of reality and self worth. That whole vision was not about me but my ghosts.
Things I noticed this vision lacked:
Also be realising how twisted this vision is, by identifying that and naming it as twisted, I've given it less power. Immediately the ghost is smaller, quieter, further back in my mind.
I don't think I'll ever fully bust the ghost, nor do I want to.
But for now I've turned a corner and after all, chips on shoulders do put chips in pockets.
My family is slowly catching on that we can enjoy activities online - together
On Saturday we watched an art class on zoom (from YouTube) and everyone had bought paints before hand.
Costumes were involved. The outcome was fantastic, fun and affordable
How often do you find you need advice, you reach out to people you look up to for help and their advice confirms everything you already knew, just in a clearer, unemotional way?
Over the past 2 years I have been sending personal network updates.
When people or companies come to me for advice, the number one thing I tell them is - start a network update. Keep me updated.
I have recently gone through a string of bad hires, a problem we as an organisation have rapidly learned from (set candidates homework people!).
And as every hire hasn’t worked out I’ve looked back at their resume (CV for the English in the room) and wondered what did I miss?
For the longest time felt like I didn’t fail at things. I was brought up with the mindset that if something is doable, it cannot be hard. A mindset which compels you to find harder and harder challenges.
That all changed when Flex, the Techstars company I co-founded didn’t work out. It broke me.
Is anyone else exhausted by the world yet? The last 4 years have made the news effectively useless as a medium for informing the public, and the populace at large have become so tribally loyal that the main political parties behave like cults.
I keep coming back to the fact that the system (UK/US) is built for cars, and as hard as you try to switch to bikes it ends in tears.
Upon reading black rednecks and white liberals, and reflecting on the past 4 years of American existence on Independence day, I have started to find signal in my thoughts pointing to some key rules that explain how society works and why it feels so uncomfortable when things are going differently.
Some pointers on how I operate to save us all some time