Motivation, Grit, Culture and Strategy (5 nuggets)

We live in a time where information is everywhere, “data” is important, but “insights” are rare. How do we process and file all the information we consume from blog posts, podcasts, videos, articles, social media, etc?

Perhaps you keep a journal, or post the links on a feed of sorts (there used to be Delicious, but I guess now that’s Pocket, or Notion, or your personal notes). I sometimes send myself an email or a message when a thought crystallises, but writing it down (like this) is probably my favourite way to “capture”. I’ve been reading a lot of different things lately and needed to “dump” these thoughts somewhere.

Here are the 5 nuggets from this week:

  1. ? Motivation – I recently watched the Netflix special “I’m not your Guru” on Tony Robbins. It’s clear that the man has extreme charisma and drive. Like him or hate him, he’s helping people, some with severe trauma that can clearly use professional help, but might not otherwise seek it. What I took away from that is that content (say therapy, or motivation) is important, but the delivery mechanism (events, books, podcasts) and the brand (Tony Robbins) makes a tremendous difference.
  2. ?Grit – In the book Shoe Dog, three things stood out for me: 1) how far we’ve come with technology. Communication was done via snail mail. If you wanted to speak with someone in Japan you had to take a flight and send them a wire…. 2) Phil Knight focused on the core users of his products (athletes/runners to begin with) and got a co-founder from the industry (his track coach) and that made all the difference. 3) without venture capital, depending on bank loans to grow a business that didn’t turn a profit was nearly impossible. We live in incredible times.
  3. ?Culture – In “What you do is who you are“, Ben Horowitz talks about startup culture from the lens of historical events and examples of leadership that have nothing to do with tech (slave revolt, prison gangs, etc). It’s so nice to take a detour and learn some history along the way. Culture is NOT, your values, the perks you offer (meals, ping pong, etc) what you say you believe in, or even what your values are. It’s what you DO.
  4. ?Strategy – In Elad Gil’s High Growth Handbook (not to be read from cover to cover, but rather as a guide you dip in and out of according to what you need in that moment, I really enjoyed Marc Andreessen’s interview on what happens after product market fit: win the market! Need to secure distribution channels, build a robust management team, internationalise product and work on next product: invest in R&D and develop an M&A strategy. Worth a read.
  5. ?Communications – I also enjoyed Stripe’s COO, Claire Hughes Johnson, Google doc manual of ‘how to work with Claire’. If Remagine Ventures was a larger organisation I’d write one for myself.

There’s probably a lot more but I’ll pause here. If you read this far, thank you! ? Let me know if you enjoyed this format (or not!)