Viking Rules

Never in history has your Big Red Car touted another’s blog. Not something I do. Don’t like a lot of other blogs.

But the other day one caught my eye and I want to introduce it to you.

It is called “Viking” and can be found at Viking.

The Viking writes about Startups, Search, Books, Music, and Travel. It is well written, pithy, and edgy. I like the tone and voice. [To be clear the use of the word “Viking” is not intended to signal any nationality, but rather the sense of adventure, like adventuring. Got it?

Image result for image of viking

What caught my eye was a post called The Rules from April 2019. Here is the Viking’s Rules. Put your startup hat and glasses on as you read this.


  1. Leave your politics at home.
  2. Gibbs is wrong (Gibbs rule #6). Apologizing doesn’t show weakness, it shows strength. If you’re wrong, admit it.
  3. Do something every day to earn your team’s loyalty.
  4. Hire your own damn people. HR won’t do it for you.
  5. Somebody on your team will always make more money than you. Get over it.
  6. Never confuse selling with implementation.
  7. Time is my most valuable commodity. With respect, get to the f’ing point.
  8. The deal’s not done til the money’s in the bank. And sometimes not even then.
  9. Feed the troops. An Army runs on its stomach.
  10. Equal pain for all. unpleasant task = everybody helps.
  11. Don’t forget to manage up.
  12. Take care of your stars. I mean, really take care of them.
  13. Always return emails & phone calls
  14. Honor your mentor.
  15. One hour a day, one day a week, don’t think about work. Harder than it sounds. Do it. (I learned this from my mentor).
  16. Every opportunity prepares you for the next one. (see rule #5).
  17. Bad news first. Good news is fun but there’s nothing actionable about it. Bad news, you can try to fix.
  18. When you have to make a decision, think carefully, ask for opinions. Then make a decision and don’t change your mind. (Indecision is fatal in a leader)
  19. Never let the facts stand in the way of a good story.
  20. Hire adrenaline junkies.
  21. Rip off the bandaid.
  22. Never make a decision until you have to. (My take on this, via Shogun, a master class in this).
  23. Always carry on your bags; never take a connecting flight (wait – that’s two rules)
  24. Never release on Fridays
  25. Don’t fight the last war. (re: when we built goby, we focused on our website even as mobile was becoming ubiquitous)
  26. “Your reputation is important and easily damaged, and people talk”.
  27. Remember, you can always say “No”. Later. (ie. don’t close things off too soon – you don’t have to commit just because you take the meet or offer the phone call….).
  28. “Hands and Feed Inside the Vehicle at all times.”. Enjoy the ride.
  29. Next slide. “Great Launch! Next Slide”. (from my first post-launch goby board meeting, after I showed the celebratory slide in the board meeting. One of my board members said this almost as soon as I put up the slide. The point: be future-focused and keep driving for more.)
  30. Paraphrasing Gibbs: When the Job’s Done, Walk Away. (when you step out of a job, don’t take another one for two months if you can help it. Your brain will change.)
  31. Be (civil) In The Arena. (re: Roosevelt quote). The Arena is The Internet and Social Media. As a leader of your company, be present. Don’t be afraid to respond to your critics as well as your friends. But be civil. Flies, Honey, Vinegar, etc.
  32. The three laws of email (with hat tip to Asimov’s three laws of robotics)
    1. Never send email when you’re mad.
    2. On the third reply, use the phone.
    3. Reply All is not your friend.
  33. Always close the loop on an intro. (if I introduce you to a VC, let me know how the meeting went. Who knows, I might have back door info….plus, it’s just polite).
  34. If you’re going to eat shit, don’t nibble. (originator: Ed Gillis @ PTC)


But, hey, what the Hell do I really know anyway? I’m just a Big Red Car. Have a great week.  Eat some BBQ to keep your blood chemistry right.