The extra mile

Credits: Mylene.Savard @Flickr

I always struggle with people that think that great and very unnatural things can be achieved by following old and tested rules, like if everybody could do that simply repeating a playbook. In Europe, we tend to think this way more than in other areas of the world, and ultimately I think the US are the ones that master this better than anybody else. While I write this I am thinking about business and entrepreneurship, but this is true in a lot of other human contexts.

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Lions, founders and large companies

This piece from Paul Graham is just a great read and a beautiful way to start thinking about your career and why you don’t necessarily need to work for a large company. Also, a great read for founders.

I particularly love the reference to building confidence for founders, it all starts there when you decide to build something ūüôā

Chaos Monkey

I am close to the end of Chaos Monkey. If you want to understand more about Silicon Valley and how venture-backed startups work, this is the perfect introduction. Do not expect something unbiased: like every entrepreneur, Antonio went through several critical moments and tries to describe rules and problems that are common in the Bay Area for early stage startups that go through fund raising and acquisitions.

I particularly appreciated the insights on the early days of Facebook.

 

[Podcast] There is always a way forward

 

Yesterday while driving to our Swiss office I listened to this podcast on Stanford eCorner. I didn’t know Matthew before. Brilliant entrepreneur and engineer. Besides talking about his entrepreneurial¬†adventures, Matthew brings up¬†about a few points and key lessons¬†that only now I understand, unfortunately.

  • Why you should raise VC money at the very beginning of your journey. Not 100% in agreement with raising VC money at the beginning (bootstrapping is the way!) but I see his point about dilution and it’s smart.
  • On Silicon Valley’s¬†big names in your board/network. They will be not so powerful while you focus on building a business. Sometimes they are just a big distraction. I understood this way too late and even today I struggle communicating this to other people.
  • Building companies and being a founder/CEO, a lonely job where taking care¬†of your mental health is 99% of the game. Very true and sad.