October 7, 2011
Weekly recap of the things I found myself thinking about this week.
Of course the sadness that still reverberates over Steve Jobs’ death. Reflecting on the irony that, just a few days before, my 9 year old asked me: “Dad, what are the times when something so important happened that you remember exactly where you were and what you were doing?” News of Jobs’ death certainly is now one of them. On the Acela right around New Haven, sipping Diet Pepsi and working on a power point.
What it means to create an honest to goodness community — generally, and specifically regarding entrepreneurs. Up until Jobs’ death, this was by far the dominant theme of my week. It came up so, so many times. In part because this is an important driver for me in my new venture. But also just randomly. John Lilly’s great quote about identifying people you want to associate with and treating them really well. Paul Graham’s post on YC’s “Valley within the Valley.” I’ll be thinking (and writing I am sure) a lot more about this as I move toward launching my new new thing. If you have any thoughts about the ingredients that make communities really work please let me know!
How to make more users participants. It is common wisdom that for your typical social service, 3% of users are creators, 7% or participants, and 90% are just users. Publishing platforms of all types — Twitter, WordPress, Tumblr, etc. — are trying to figure out how to move those numbers toward participation and creation. Saw some interesting attempts this week to do that. Expect we’ll see a lot more.
And on a more reflective note, I’ve thought a fair bit about how to make good business decisions in emotion laden contexts. Those of you who know me well know I can have strong feelings. Usually it is manifested in being really passionate about something. A company I am working with, a project (like Dogpatch Labs) I am working on, a person I am excited by. But sometimes I can have a strong reaction when I feel someone I am dealing with is not behaving well. Letting your reaction be fueled by emotion is rarely the right thing to do from a business perspective. Much better to get a night’s sleep and revisit the next day with a cooler head.
And finally, creating the vision for my very own venture. By so far the most exciting thing I’ve ever done. Happy.
Have a great weekend!