We’re not thinking about, ‘Wow, we have this need out there. We need trained professionals to help fill it. We’re thinking, ‘Oh yeah, someone’s got to watch the kids. Let’s pay ‘em like babysitters.
So the next time you read about an overnight success, or a billion-dollar exit, think about what went into that story. Think about the amazing teamwork that it took to will nothing into something. Think about whether you are building a team that can do that. Think about whether you are just trying to replicate the latest and greatest success story…if you are, stop. You can’t believe everything you read in the newspaper. So write your own story.
The Finish Line
So far, everyone that I think I know who’s in Boston or was running in the race today, is safe & sound, so I’m grateful for that.
But what I keep thinking about is that the blasts were at the finish line. Where husbands and wives and kids and parents and friends were waiting, watching, cheering. I’ve run a few half marathons and the thought of my family — of any family — waiting to catch a glimpse of the runner they’re cheering for — the culmination of so much hard work — it makes my heart catch in my throat. Awful. Senseless.
Why: Why do you take a stand? We are moral actors in this world, and we should be conscious about the reasons we take a stand. If you treat this as an unconscious, unshapeable thing, that’s bad for the world. The “Why” of your identity is something that binds all of your choices together, and frequently comes down to a statement of principle. I believe in a number of key principles that I apply to myself and the world at large: A world of diminished violence, reaching human potential, getting to truth through intellectual discourse, and universal civil rights that apply to all people, all cultures, and all societies.
One of the reasons I love working with and being friends with Reid. We’ve been so lined up on these things since the very first day we met. Understanding the “why” of yourself and those in your tribe — it’s what makes a life of meaning, and what makes it easy to work and live together over years and decades.
I was really happy to hear the details of Foursquare’s financing this morning, but a little bummed to see how my conversation with Businessweek came out in the article, just saying that I thought the $600M price was too high.
What I spent probably 95% of my conversation with Businessweek saying (and why I was happy to speak with them when they called) is that I think what Dennis and Evan and the team there have done is amazing, and I think they have a real shot at building something meaningful and durable — a trick not a lot of companies ever get, and especially not companies who had such a meteoric rise at the beginning before getting down to business.
I said that I was blown away by the 2 of them, and have high confidence that what they’re doing now will work very well (exhibit A: new iPhone app that dropped last night).
I also said that at the end of the day I didn’t think I was going to be able to get to a price that would have worked for us and for the company, so didn’t press it — it was just very hard for me to think about valuation given the turns the company is making.
That was before I knew about the specifics of the convertible round, but sounds to me like others came to the same conclusion. Interesting to hear that, since feedback loops in this industry are so often incomplete.
But no matter. What does matter is that they raised the money they need to give this a real go. I have high confidence in these guys that they’ll do well and build interesting products and a great business for a long time.