Big Red Car here on a wet Austin By God Texas day. It is May, y’all, and it is time to contemplate the Memorial Day floods.
Here is a pic from the 1981 Memorial Day floods, my first personal intro to the phenomenon. This pic is taken at the bridge in front of Hut’s Hamburgers, home of some of the best burgers on the planet. There were car lots next to Shoal Creek and hundreds of cars ended up in the creek.
When you come to Austin, you are going to want to get a Hut’s Hamburger. Trust me on this. Get the hickory burger.
The other day I was reading a blog in which a particular management methodology was discussed. It seemed noticeably similar to Peter Drucker’s concept of Management by Objectives contained in his excellent book, The Practice of Management (1954). It got me thinking about Peter Drucker.
One of the phenomenon in business, particularly in the venture capital funded startup business world, is a complete lack of appreciation that businesses existed long before the invention of the personal computer or the Internet.
I often joke, “Your generation did not invent sex or business” by which I mean it is worthwhile to have knowledge of things from before the Internet.
Bit of a gray day out here in the ATX which is a great day to be viewing the bluebonnets. Bluebonnets do not belong to a union. If they did, they would require more rain, no?
Today, however, we speak of the unionization of tech companies. A pal of mine (tip of the hat to LE of the City of Brotherly Love) sent me an article announcing that the staff of Kickstarter is going to become members of the Office and Professional Employees International Union Local 153.
In announcing this bold step, the union had this to say:
Kickstarter United is proud to start the process of unionizing to safeguard and enrich Kickstarter’s charter commitments to creativity, equity, and a positive impact on society. We trust in the democratic process and are confident that the leadership of Kickstarter stands with us in that effort. Kickstarter has always been a trailblazer, and this is a pivotal moment for tech. We want to set the standard for the entire industry. Now is the time. Come together. Unionize.
Kickstarter is the first notable tech company to embrace the idea of a union, but in the last few years employees have begun to speak with a louder voice at some of the other companies on issues such as sexual harassment [talking to you, Uber] and selling technology to the Pentagon [talking to you, Amazon, Sales Force].
These louder voices are what has attracted OPEIU to come calling.
Nice warm day in the ATX after a morning of rain. Ahh, On Earth as it is in Texas! It’s SXSW time in the ATX.
As a founder, entrepreneur, CEO there are times — most of the time — when you must rely solely upon yourself. You are all alone.
Even when you are a member of a team, at times you are all alone because you are the decider.
This is not a bad thing; it is just a thing. You can relax knowing that every other founder, entrepreneur, CEO has had the same feeling.
That feeling — when the butterflies in your gut become condors and they try to slice their way out with their sharp talons. Your stomach is an acid pit and your breath is like kerosene.
It is real, but you can handle it. Learning to rely upon your own judgment is critical.
I am not counseling you to ignore advice. Solicit advice, but know that sometimes, you will jump alone.
Here is a video of a stick of paratroopers (with equipment) getting ready to jump over White Sands as part of a training exercise. Every soldier who approaches that door is a member of a team, but when they jump they make that decision alone. You as a founder, entrepreneur, CEO will make that same decision.
As a leader of a startup, a public company, a charity — you will find yourself dealing with the planning for, advocacy of, and implementation of change. Change is the constant.
As change is the constant, resistance to change is also a given. People do not like change in the workplace. They like to settle in, do their jobs, and become expert at what they do. They want the comfort of a known gig and a known operating model.
Change, by its very nature, creates discomfort. This discomfort gives rise to resistance. Resistance becomes an internal barrier to the success of the change.
I have been traveling to see Baby Tempe for a few days so I have been MIA. When I travel, it gives me a good chance to think. One of the reasons I adore road trips.
Here is Baby T working the marketing end of her mother’s hot startup Weezie Towels. You will want to get over to www.weezietowels.com when you can.
It is hard to be an effective marketer when you can’t speak yet. But, she’s on the case.
So, here’s something I have been thinking about for a long time, but have never really articulated in an intelligible way — the world is filled to overflowing with bullshitters, but has only a handful of real doers.
I am going to peg the comparative percentages at 98% bullshitters and 2% doers. A pal put it at 99% v 1%, but he was always a hard grader.
Before you condemn the coarseness of my observation, let me say there is nothing inherently bad or evil about being a bullshitter, as long as you know it and make way for the doers who are ultimately going to solve the problems.