Okay. Here we go. Focus. Speed. SaaS is Racing. I remember a couple of years ago I watched “Cars” the movie with my two boys. What struck me most about the story was that the main character, Lightning McQueen, didn't learn to be the best on the race track; he learned it on the training dirt track. So today's update comes from the DirtFish Rally School just outside of Seattle. The more time I spent here hucking, hoping and trying
As a high-performing founder, you’re confronted with TWO seemingly opposing forces. You need to travel (a lot) Your health and fitness are a vital part of your capacity to show up and do your best work So how do you reconcile this? How do you stay razor sharp (and fit) while sitting long hours on planes and scavenging for food in a place you’ve never been before?
I’ve spoken a lot about my 3 most recent SaaS exits (Clarity.fm, Flowtown, Spheric)... But rarely do I talk about how EASILY I could’ve given up on each. I mean… … Spheric got sued 15 months in. … Flowtown got shut down by Facebook and had to be rebuilt from near-scratch. … Clarity.fm launched to crickets (despite renting out a 300-seat theatre). As you’d imagine, each had me swallowing a confidence-killing cocktail of fear and frustration. Few would’ve blamed
No matter how great your product is, at some point the success of your SaaS company is gonna be DIRECTLY linked to your personal productivity as a founder. Talk about pressure, right? I can totally relate. I built clarity.fm during an insane 11 month stretch where Renee was starting an agency of her own AND we brought two little humans into the world.
Six years ago, Renée and I were living in San Francisco. I had just closed a round of funding for Clarity.fm while Renée had just co-founded a new marketing agency of her own. Things were crazy. But they were about to get crazier ;-) Turns out Renée was pregnant with our first son, Max… and it took a whole 3-months after Max was born for Noah to sneak into the picture. Add it all up and our two boys are
Tell them what to do. Check that’s been done. Tell them what to do next. Leadership 101 right there. A fine recipe if you want to run a mediocre company with eight or ten B level players that constantly tap into your managerial bandwidth and cripple your capacity to achieve accelerated growth. An outdated paradigm for any SaaS founder with more ambitious plans to scale. For that SaaS founder, I offer a major upgrade from the “transactional leadership” approach.
We’ve all suffered through it. The end-of-year Zoom call where the fearless founder, likely fueled by a few craft beers, starts riffing off bold projections for the upcoming year. “We’re gonna crush it” “We’re gonna change the game” “2x… 5x… 10x” You get the idea ;-) I’m all for setting ambitious goals, and have crazy amounts of respect for any founder audacious enough to pursue them.
At 8 years old, I got diagnosed with ADHD. I felt broken. Burdened by a “brain’ that would surely screw me out of any type of meaningful contribution in the world. Every day was a crapshoot. Without knowing how I’d “show up” on any given day, setting goals (and pursuing them) felt like a fool’s game -- and when I’d inevitably fail, it only supported my belief that I was messed up beyond repair. Over the next decade, I spiraled
I believe there are two types of people in the world... ... those who’ve been punched in the face - and those who haven’t. Growing up, I got in a lot of trouble. That meant getting into fist fights. It’s always amazed me how paralyzed with fear someone will get at the threat of getting in a fight. I’ve seen guys freeze up, piss themselves, and pass out... all before a punch was thrown. How does this apply to growing
When I was 28 I came home to find my fiance crying in the kitchen holding her engagement ring letting me know it was over. The truth is... I was a horrible partner. I unapologetically worked 100 hours a week using the justification that I was doing it all for her and our life ahead of us. It was complete *bullshit*. No one had asked me to sacrifice those hours... and if I was being honest, I knew it was