Show Time v Go Time

Big Red Car here. Brrrrrr, winter in the ATX is cold, y’all. It is 33F headed to 54F. This is winter. Of course, it’s going to be sunny because it is Texas after all.

So The Boss is talking to a couple of brilliant CEO entrepreneurs and he says to one of them, “You have to know when show time becomes go time.”

The CEO, who is brilliant, says, “What does that mean?”

The Boss ‘mansplains it to him. If you are around The Boss for any length of time, you will hear him say, “Get in the moment. Stay in the moment. Make something happen. Now.”

As you know the Big Red Car likes to write about business, entrepreneurial startup business, politics (boring, Big Red Car, very boring), and the military.

As it turns out the phrase “show time v go time” has some pertinence to each of those subjects.

The entrepreneurial show time v go time

When you are an entrepreneur out raising money for your brilliant idea, you will be filling the world of fundraising with your elevator, taxicab, and board room pitches. Lovely words that Shakespeare would envy. Believe me.

You will be dealing your pitch deck, your rehearsed spiel, anticipating the questions, answering them as crisply as a winter day, showing off your business engine canvas and just, generally, filling the world with the promise of great things to come and pain to be made well. All by YOU! Damn, you’re good!

You may even have some kind of fledgling product but you are primarily pitching some future to be built with the audience’s money even if the audience is your rich Aunt Ethel (who has always liked you).

You are full of more promise than a Democratic Alderman running for re-election. There is not a pot hole in Christendom safe from you.

And, then, you get the commitments, the documents, the money.

And, then, dear beloved CEO, you make the transition from show time to go time. Now, you have to put aside all your childish fundraising pursuits and perform.

And in the startup game that is the transition from show time to go time and you better make it crisp and keep it real because from here on out, it is a graded exercise and you are burning daylight and money.

The political show time v go time

The GOPe — the Republican Establishment — cannot figure out how to derail Donald Trump. They have been trying by supporting their handpicked handmaiden, Jeb Bush. They have slapped him with their checkbooks. They have reminded him and the electorate, “Hey, he’s a Bush. His father was President. His ne’er do well brother, W, was President. It’s Jeb’s turn.”

No sale.

Trump, on the other hand, has stolen the oxygen from the world Republican, has completely mastered the tail chasing media and has made them his bitch, has polled like free ice cream but now the primaries start.

Now, the lovely ingenue is going to have to pull his dancing slippers on and begin to whirl about to the music while counting noses — first in Iowa and then New Hampshire and then South Carolina.

By the end of South Carolina, only three candidates are still viable and the race becomes the race.

And, that, dear reader, is when show time becomes go time — when the first caucusier (a word? I don’t think so, Big Red Car but, still, I sort of like it) stands up and says, “Donald Trump is my boy. I am his and let’s get it on.”

Show time becomes go time.

[Pro tip: When the race is winnowed into Trump, Cruz, Rubio — the votes begin to fall in line. Don’t believe all the baloney about a brokered convention and the last gasp of the GOPe to maintain some thin veneer of relevance. When the field is narrowed, it becomes a two man race quickly and Trump wins. He does not arrive at the convention 150 delegates short. He clinches it before the convention site is swept clean in anticipation of the union crew setting up. Trump wins the nomination outright before the azaleas bloom. If he doesn’t, the deal making fool anoints one of the other stooges as VP and they become a package deal. The guy is a deal making wizard. Oh, yeah, there’s going to be a deal. Count on it.]

Military show time v go time

In the military, you make a plan in the spirit of finding, fixing, and killing your adversaries. It is the nasty business you have chosen and you are good at it. You put it on a map. You make a sand table of the objective. You publish a five paragraph field order. Folks know where the casualty collection point is and you know the radio frequencies of the artillery, the gunships, the fast movers, and medevac. You write them down, you memorize them, you make damn sure your RTO knows them, also.

You conduct a map exercise. You sandtable it. You walk it through. You rehearse what happens if you get killed.

And, then, the planning is over. You check, double check, re-check everything and the minute hand touches the spot on your watch from whence things can no longer change and destiny shows up for a ride to the objective with you.

If you’re a paratrooper, you get up off that cold ass runway and load up. You’ve been to the latrine four times and you can’t wet a postage stamp with your tongue.  You’re pregnant with a parachute, a reserve, a drop bag, your weapon, ammo, and your fears.

You load, you stand in the door, you jump, you enjoy that incredible moment of peace as you float under your silk, and it becomes go time.

Show time becomes go time when you walk through the wire, when you jump out of the plane, when you step off that chopper, when you cross the LD (line of departure) and whatever the world thought it was going to do that day is changed forever and you, American soldier boy, are the agent of that change.

Show time becomes go time.

In your life, look for and respect the transition between show time and go time. What time is it right now in your life, Ace? Go make it happen. Cause, it’s GO TIME, baby, and you, dear reader, are about to change the world. Do not make the Big Red Car look bad, y’all.

But, hey, what the Hell do I really know anyway? I’m just a Big Red Car! Be good to yourselves, you deserve it.




9 thoughts on “Show Time v Go Time

  1. Yup.

    I especially appreciate the part about the preparation, e.g,, the

    > You check, double check, re-check everything and the minute hand touches
    the spot on your watch from whence things can no longer change and
    destiny shows up for a ride to the objective with you.

    Yup. And I’m concerned about the part

    > whence things can no longer change

    For a little example, I’ve written a lot of software that was supposed to run, reliably and correctly, and it did. But while I was writing the software, definitely I was not yet in Go Time. This was easy to see because the software was not yet fully written or was but clearly still had some bugs, needed tweaking, etc. And, when the software seemed to be solid, then it was Go Time and

    > whence things can no longer change

    In anticipation of that time, want to do the work clearly well enough before the. Don’t want to go live with 1 million users when the software is still so raw that most of the users will discover serious bugs.

    I remember my father’s

    “Measure twice. Saw once.”

    A friend in business has done a lot of projects, most of them on time, on budget, as bid, as planned. He was shocked to discover that commonly software projects don’t work this way. The key reason for the difference is, compared with his projects, the software tools to be used keep changing.

    Well, since software projects can be so important and expensive, there is some methodology for estimating them. One approach to the methodology starts with the history of the development team on similar projects. If the team has no such history, then the methodology makes no estimate! Or, if have built 100 similar Web sites and site 101 is similar, then can make a quite good estimate for the project. If the site is both the first for the team and unique for the world, then there is no accurate project estimation methodology.

    But, if Show Time for a project is dragging on, then that’s unfortunate but not much a surprise but, still, there is no sense in rushing to Go Time and, say, getting a bad reputation in front of 1 million users.

    The GOPe might prefer Cruz or Rubio, but so would Hillary which means that the GOPe should prefer Trump. For the GOPe cutting a “deal” for the VP slot, I’m not so sure the GOPe has much to bring to the table for a deal or much cares about having Cruz or Rubio in as VP. Maybe I’m wrong: IIRC Trump has said that he will be self-funding during the primaries but will be willing to accept GOP party funding during the general election. Well, maybe the GOPe can get some leverage here. But, really? I mean, even if for VP Trump wants someone not in the race for POTUS now, the GOPe will then risk Hillary winning? Or, Hillary is the ememy. So, line up behind Trump and his plan of attack. For the general election, pull out the checkbooks, and to heck with who the VP is. Or, is the GOPe thinking ahead to 2020? For an area where the main concern is the headline of the day and long term is a year, tough to think that the GOPe wants to use Trump’s VP as their boy for POTUS in 2020 or later. Or, for 2020 or 2024, how about just Ivanka? More likely!

    For VC, seems to me that. while there is a lot of talk from both sides of the table, all that really matters for a deal is a project, for obviously a huge market, all the development done, traction significant and growing rapidly, and nothing else seriously wrong.

    If that current traction means good earnings and plenty for both capex and opex for growth, then maybe for the VCs the dream, maybe the only hope, is the team is five guys, each in a small apartment, each with a 10 year old Chevy, each with a pregnant wife, and each wanting a high end Ferrari, a 10,000 square foot house in the best neighborhood, and a 150′ yacht, all right away. Maybe.

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