In 1979, Jim Stigler, a researcher from UMich went to study education in Japan. Sitting in the back of a fourth grade math class, he watched as the teacher asked the class to draw cubes.
The teacher selected the student who was having the greatest difficulty drawing the cube to go to the blackboard and struggle in front of the class as his classmates critiqued his work periodically. As the student tried again and again to draw a cube, Jim grew anxious - as many of us might.
By the end of the class, the the student drew a cube properly and stood in front of the classroom with great pride. His classmates applauded him.
I admire startup cultures that prioritize transparency and reward struggle because these companies value learning. Very few companies have direct and unwavering paths to market. Most of them have to bob and weave, pivot and rebuild. The team that can identify their challenges, test their assumptions, understand the problems and respond the fastest will ultimately be the team which wins the market.
The first component to such a company is a culture of honest and straightforward feedback. The second component is a team which is willing to support each other through their each respective struggles to learn how best to serve the company.
Every startup will struggle. Building a transparent and honest environment is the key to transforming struggle into progress - like drawing a cube on blackboard with classmates watching.
The obvious question is what you should do with your singularity. The obvious answer, unfortunately, has been to follow the well-trodden path. You are constantly encouraged to play it safe and be conventional. The future, we are told, is just probabilities and statistics. You are a statistic.
But the obvious answer is wrong. That is selling yourself short. Statistical processes, the law of large numbers, and globalization—these things are timeless, probabilistic, and maybe random. But, like technology, your life is a story of one-time events.
By their nature, singular events are hard to teach or generalize about. But the big secret is that there are many secrets left to uncover. There are still many large white spaces on the map of human knowledge. You can go discover them. So do it. Get out there and fill in the blank spaces. Every single moment is a possibility to go to these new places and explore them.
There is perhaps no specific time that is necessarily right to start your company or start your life. But some times and some moments seem more auspicious than others. Now is such a moment. If we don’t take charge and usher in the future—if you don’t take charge of your life—there is the sense that no one else will.
So go find a frontier and go for it. Choose to do something important and different. Don’t be deterred by notions of luck, impossibility, or futility. Use your power to shape your own life and go and do new things.
We expect you to develop your own leads, ask smart questions, close deals, and make your own decisions. YES, you will close deals. If you want to learn how to close multi-million dollar deals and think you have what it takes to roll with the big boys, this role is for you.
Prospecting and developing new relationships into business opportunities.
Evaluating clients needs, developing strategies to solve them, and effectively executing those strategies.
Being proactive and assertive. After you’re up to speed, we’ll help, but don’t want to hold your hand. It’s sweaty! From all the hustling you’ve been doing.
Spotting opportunities from around the corner. Stay flexible, keep your ear to the ground and your eyes peeled.
You will be required to win. Everyday.
Think critically, and get stuff done (that’s why we hired you!); we’re a startup, we hustle.
Success in this role means success in delivering results through team work and a relentless focus on what’s best for fusedcow. Success means continually holding oneself to the highest of professional and ethical standards and demanding the same of co-workers. Success is walking into fusedcow every work day with an unwavering belief that you can and do influence affairs for the better and that in turn you will stand to reap the rewards both financially and professionally that your contribution merits.
In concrete terms, your success will evidence itself in the following ways:
Achieving annual revenue contribution goals
Achieving new client acquisition targets
Demonstrating proactive ability in reaching executive decision makers for the innovation work that fusedcow does
Working well within the existing matrix organization and receiving high peer evaluations as a team player
Someone who wants to influence your own development. You’re looking for a company where you have the opportunity to pursue your interests across functions and geographies, and where a job title is not considered the final definition of who you are, but the starting point.
You bring to the organization the following competencies:
A network of colleagues and past clients who respect you immensely
A strong background in premium digital sales with a proven track record in leading cross-functional business development processes
A solid (proven) business acumen
An ability to lead the strategy for a new client opportunity and lead the big meeting when it happens
A problem solving nature that evidences itself in the ability to put together large complex proposals (not just responding to RFPs)
A knack for prospering in ambiguous environments, both with customers and internally
A dedication to excellence, and the ability to become a trusted advisor to fusedcow’s customers
“Underdogs are not popular because we are underdogs. Underdogs have to fight for everything. Underdogs have to fight to be heard, to be seen, to be respected. Of course we don’t want to think that we’re them. We want to think we’re winners, that we sit at the special table (you can’t sit with us), that we’re better than everyone else, but what are you winning? What did you win? Shit, what are you even playing, dog?”—
“A philosophy without heart and a faith without intellect are abstractions from the true life of knowledge and faith. The man whom philosophy leaves cold, and the man whom real faith does not illuminate, may be assured that the fault lies in them, not in knowledge and faith. The former is still an alien to philosophy, the latter an alien to faith.”—Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (August 27, 1770–November 14, 1831) inEncyclopedia of the Philosophical Sciences
“The very first company I started failed with a great bang. The second one failed a little bit less, but still failed. The third one, you know, proper failed, but it was kind of okay. I recovered quickly. Number four almost didn’t fail. It still didn’t really feel great, but it did okay. Number five was PayPal.”—Max Levchin, former CTO of PayPal
The Times of India is read by people who think they run the country; The Indian Express is read by people who think they ought to run the country; The Hindu is read by people who actually do run the country; Hindustan Times is read by the wives of the people who run the country;
MINT is read by people who own the country; The Telegraph is read by people who think the country ought to be run by another country; and Economic Times is read by people who think it is.
Mumbai Times readers don’t care who runs the country, as long as she’s got big tits.
“I am troubled by the devaluing of the word ‘design’. I find myself now being somewhat embarrassed to be called a designer. In fact I prefer the German term, Gestalt-Ingenieur. Apple and Vitsoe are relatively lone voices treating the discipline of design seriously in all corners of their businesses. They understand that design is not simply an adjective to place in front of a product’s name to somehow artificially enhance its value. Ever fewer people appear to understand that design is a serious profession; and for our future welfare we need more companies to take that profession seriously.”—"I am always fascinated when I see the latest Apple products. Apple has managed to achieve what I never achieved: using the power of their products to persuade people to queue to buy them. For me, I had to queue to receive food at the end of World War II. That’s quite a change." - Dieter Rams
“The internet makes human desires more easily attainable. In other words, it offers convenience. Convenience on the internet is basically achieved by two things: speed, and cognitive ease. If you study what the really big things on the internet are, you realize they are masters at making things fast and not making people think.”—Ev Williams
“When Edison invented a viable light bulb he knew that for the viable product to become the mainstay of a viable business, the country needed to be electrified. He knew his customers did not have electricity at home. Electrification was more than a product, it was a whole ecosystem of products. People like Edison did not build companies around single products and then forsake all they learned for some other technological field, they built many companies and many products based around a fundamental secular technological shift. As an investor, you should do the same.”—Betting on the Ponies: non-Unicorn Investing
Sequoia Capital India has an image problem, and why outbound programs of Indian VCs usually suck
I’m sure most of you saw this Secret thread on the most visible seed+growth venture capital fund, backed companies like (you all know the list)
One investment professional responsible for the seed program of Sequoia India was the key target of this Secret conversation, and it was all ugly.
First things first: THIS IS A FUCKING PR NIGHTMARE for any fund.
Some Sequoia backed entrepreneurs joined the thread & tried to firefight the scenario, and got trolled by a dozen people who claimed to met this professional in question.
I don’t know much about the truth in this case, but I had long conversations with some of the portfolio entrepreneurs (past/current) of the Fund, and this is not good for the fund, firm, and the ecosystem.
We are going through tough times in the ecosystem, where most Series Seed/A funds exhausted their capital for fresh investments, and relatively difficult for entrepreneurs to raise capital in favorable terms. I hope the Bros. in the investment business shake things up and grow a pair and some empathy soon.
You see, Plato once said “VCs are not in the investment business - they are in the co-creating business”.
Believe in your fucking self.
Stay up all fucking night.
Work outside of your fucking habits.
Know when to fucking speak up.
Don’t fucking procrastinate.
Get over your fucking self.
Keep fucking learning.
Form follows fucking function.
A computer is a Lite-Brite for
bad fucking ideas.
Find fucking inspiration everywhere. Fucking network.
Educate your fucking client.
Trust your fucking gut.
Ask for fucking help.
Make it fucking sustainable.
Question fucking everything.
Have a fucking concept.
Learn to take some fucking criticism. Make me fucking care.
Use fucking spell check.
Do your fucking research.
Sketch more fucking ideas.
The problem contains the fucking solution.
Think about all the fucking possibilities.
“A single ray of light from a distant star falling upon the eye of a tyrant in bygone times, may have altered the course of his life, may have changed the destiny of nations, may have transformed the surface of the globe, so intricate, so inconceivably complex are the processes of nature.”—Nikola Tesla
I had a long chat with my mother about what we are building at fusedcow. I’m sure she was confused, and i explained it again and again about how stuff works, what is 5D design, and how building codes change. I did it patiently and took me an hour and half to explain everything.
I face the same problem with my end-customers and sometimes they think we are a design firm, and we are not. That makes me angry and I’m sure I need to work on what we communicate to our end users. They really don’t care whether you are using Revit or Laravel. But then, why we really don’t get angry when we are explaining things to our parents?
Maybe it is time to consider a different approach:
Treat your user/customer like your mother.
They are cute, and they might ‘get’ what you are doing, but they don’t most the time.
Whatever the scenario maybe, try to simplify or over simplify, tell them why you are doing this and how much this is important to the world and her. Take time, and explain slowly, with empathy. Listen to everything she says, sometimes that is the only thing they expect.
She has the right to yell at you. But love your user unconditionally. Because when every door you know shuts, she will be the only one who will motivate you and stand by you.
Create an amazing product which solves a real problem. Make her proud so that she will tell her friends about it.
Try to spend more time with her. It is good for you and your product. Have you called her lately?
“The web is the future of journalism, but let’s be honest: the future isn’t living up to expectations. Newspapers and magazines have cut back on in-depth reporting. Gossip sites have proliferated. The web has become a byword for fast and cheap. Why isn’t it synonymous with fearless, investigative and enthralling writing?”—Big Stories Matter — Medium