My hope is that you’ll point up to that sign five years from now and explain to the children in your back seat that it’s there because of you, not just because “I was there,” but because you actually helped create it, one customer at a time, whether you thrilled them with customer service so deeply that they convinced a friend to sign up too, or helped them find us through the fog of “web hosting” propaganda, or helped them decide whether we’re the right partner for their business, or got them excited and saved them hours of drudgery through platform features, or helped all of us run the company smarter through finance and metrics, or made our office a lovely place to come to, or ensured that everyone we hire shares our values, or if you’re the silent hero who put out fires at 3:15am while everyone else slumbered in bliss.
Thirty spokes join in one hub
In its emptiness, there is the function of a vehicle
Mix clay to create a container
In its emptiness, there is the function of a container
Cut open doors and windows to create a room
In its emptiness, there is the function of a room
Therefore, that which exists is used to create benefit
That which is empty is used to create functionality
“Backstage, after their amazing performance, I chatted with [lead singer] Dave Gahan as he cried from pure happiness. He told me that the tears were because he didn’t know if the group could ever pull off anything this great again and for him it was the most emotional concert of his career.”
But what does it mean for you or me, that reaching the pinnacle of success is not only strikingly fleeting, but also sad? That tears of joy transmute immediately to tears of sadness, because reaching the peak means by definition your next steps must be downhill?
When are you going to stop, take a breath, think quietly, shut out the cacophony of expectations and press releases and chest-thumping and biased storytelling, and decide what’s right for you? And then, harder still, can you be comfortable and confident in your choice?
As the founder of WP Engine, I get a few emails a week from startups wanting to “do a deal” with us. So far, almost zero of them have resulted in an actual deal.
Here’s the problem, and how you can change your approach to business development so that it has a chance of succeeding.
So says Keith Rabois, and the Internet generally: “I don’t know of a single successful CEO or entrepreneur who blogs regularly.”
If true, why?
Listen to this episode if you want to hear about a founder who has a product and users and paying customers … and is trying to figure out how to take his company to the next level and grow faster.
If you’re in Austin for SxSW, come say hello between 10:00 and 2:00 on Saturday, March 8. We’ll have an open lounge with food and coffee at our World Headquarters.
It’s an easy 5 blocks from the convention center, so there’s no reason not to hang out with us for a while, an oasis amidst the craziness.
People say the end of the year is a terrible time to raise money or sell a company, because “everyone’s only thinking about the holidays” and “people with money are away skiing in Aspen.”
Except, my previous company Smart Bear was sold on Dec 20, 2007. And we completed our Series C round here at WP Engine on Dec 23, 2013. And no fewer then three other companies I was previously an investor in also raised a round that closed in December of 2013.
You may have seen these metrics defined before, but this is the best visualization of their effect that I’ve ever seen.
Scale causes rare events to become regular. Things happen with 2000 servers that you literally never once saw with 50 servers, and things which used to happen once in a blue moon, where a shrug and a manual reboot every six months was in fact an appropriate “process,” now happen every week, or even every day.
Given that all of these are selfishly useful — concerning your happiness and productivity — it’s amazing how we persistently ignore these facts as we navigate our daily lives.
The conclusions are simple, and obvious.
One task at a time. Don’t allow arbitrary people on email and twitter dictate your attention or use of time, because they’ll demand it all. Be mindful of the present moment. Use regular downtime and rest to stay healthy and happy.
Does that paragraph describe your life?
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- 10 things successful startup founders don't say
- Never say "no," but rarely say "yes"
- The unfortunate math behind consulting
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- Rise of the "successful" unsustainable company
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