July 24, 2016

Meetings… Probably the most inefficient part of your day. You’ve heard the saying: “If you want to kill time, a meeting is the perfect weapon!” No matter what you do, most of the time it comes to this: “too many people speaking, not enough listening.” I believe that the number 1 reason is ego: everyone wants to show what they know and offer a piece of their mind to the group. Sometimes it’s important and productive. But most of the time, it is not.

After years of sitting through long and ineffective meetings, I found the secret to make them efficient. And I found it in the most unexpected of places.

While practicing Aikido, you are not supposed to talk much. There are even some classes where you’re absolutely not allowed to speak at all.  We call it "be here and now". Not t...

April 4, 2016

There is one thing entrepreneurs will universally agree on – startup life is similar to riding a never-ending roller-coaster. However, the one thing that most of us forget is that, at least on a roller-coaster, you know when you’ll start descending. 

And as scary as it might feel, it is predictable, known and anticipated. You even had time to mentally prepare yourself while waiting in line for hours. That’s part of the exhilaration. In startups, you don’t know when you’ll fall – and that is the scariest part.

In Aikido, we are taught that the number one rule is to keep your balance. It is when we are balanced that we are stronger, both physically and mentally. But what happens when you lose your balance and you fall? We are told that we must quickly rise back on o...

November 30, 2015

Have you seen the award-winning ad for Volvo Trucks created by the talented people over at Forsman & Bodenfors? It shows JCVD doing an epic split over two Volvo trucks driving backwards. If you haven’t seen it, watch it; if you have, watch it again. It’s a classic.

So what does this commercial have to do with startups? My answer is: EVERYTHING!

I would love to see the brief that the advertising agency got when they were asked to create this ad but, without reading it, I assume it went something like this:

“We are launching a new line of European heavy duty trucks and each of these five trucks has some spectacular technology which is the result of very innovative engineering. We want you to find a way to explain this to people so they choose our truck...

August 18, 2015

Here’s a couple tests for you:

  1. You’re a manager at a startup and deadlines are tight. One of your employees is suggesting a direction on a project that you’ve seen before and know doesn’t work. Would you ever approve that project knowing it will have to be done over again?

  2. You hear this: “Let’s add this feature and improve the design one more time before launching.” If you’ve worked at a startup for even six months, this isn’t new to you. Would you ever give them the extra development time knowing it’s better to hit the market and iterate after?

A few years ago, I managed a game development company. We started a new project and my programmer, who was a Flash expert and new to HTML5, wanted to work in Flash and transfer it to HTML5. I knew it was a mistake,...

Please reload