It's not about having a Silicon Valley attitude""it's about having an entrepreneurial attitude. It's about partnering with other organizations in and around your area. It's about thinking big with entrepreneurs that sit next to you in your coworking space. It's about collaborating with tech gurus, social media wizards and community leaders at cool business events. It's the people that make a community an entrepreneurial one""not the location""and it's up to you to contribute.
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The most challenging thing for a young entrepreneur is to think long-term. When you are 22 years old, it's hard to think in 22-year increments since that's as long as you've been alive. But it's really important to view your life as an entrepreneur as a long journey that consists of many short-term cycles.
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I was afraid people wouldn't take me seriously, or would stop respecting me, if I talked about how bad I was feeling. The only people I talked openly about it with was my business partner, Dave Jilk, and my girlfriend - now wife - Amy Batchelor. They were amazingly supportive, but even then, I was deeply ashamed about my weaknesses.
Stress on fast growing companies comes from a lot of different places. The one that is often the largest, and creates the most second-order issues, is the composition of the leadership team. More specifically, it's specific people on the leadership who don't have the scale experience their role requires at a particular moment in time.
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Think about it for a brief moment. Suspend disbelief. Wind the clock forward 100 years. Do you think, as a species, we will still be struggling with the things that vex us today? Will we still be arguing about the same stuff? We will still be eating Cocoa Puffs? We are at the end of the beginning.
Lots of entrepreneurs don't want to be hassled by a board of directors early on. The entrepreneurs want to control the company, don't want to be responsible to a board, or don't want to waste time communicating with board members. This is a classic error of thinking about the early stage board incorrectly.
Having read my share of tell-alls over the year, including some that were passed off as autobiographies, I mostly feel sad - sometimes for the writer and sometimes for all the people in his way. I hope that the process of writing the tell-all gives some release and closure on what clearly was an unpleasant and unfulfilling life experience.
For a long time, I've ranted against naming your startup community 'Silicon Whatever.' Instead, I believe every startup community already has a name. The Boulder startup community is called Boulder. The L.A. startup community is called L.A. The Washington D.C. startup community is called Washington D.C.
A typical leader has - a natural tendency is to be defensive in the face of a crisis. The first reaction is to blame someone - or something - else. Often, the blame is aimed at something abstract or non-controllable, which often has nothing to do with the crisis but is adjacent to whatever is going on, so it's an easy target.