Wow. Where did 2013 go?

Between the year of the baby and the startup – 2013 just blew by. I had wanted to blog a lot more than I did but as usual between work and diapers – I tend to run out of time. Probably won’t get any better this year but that’s okay – I have resolved myself to focusing on a few things so I do them well. Such is life.

I had an awesome holiday with the family this year to Japan. It was an ambitious trip, maybe overly so, in that we did 4 days in Tokyo then got in a car and drove in a very circuitous way to Kyoto. It was a bit much on some days given the 5 year old and the 1 year old can get car weary but we saw so many things and the countryside was gorgeous. The Thais saw their first snow and I enjoyed the great roads and awesome scenery. My friends over at http://japanbikerentals.com hooked me up. Look them up if you ever want to ride a motorcycle on tour in Japan. Great bunch of folks.

When I returned from Japan I was thrust back into the chaos of Spuul – what I mean is startups are chaotic and it is to be expected somewhat. I even penned an email to the founders about feeling too chaotic and wanting to reign it in somehow. Maybe it was just my state of mind after the trip and not thinking about work too much. Not even sure it was the right thing to but fortunately my relationship with the founders is very open and candid – I always feel like I can speak my mind.

Then today I read this. Lots of cold water thrown on my let’s slow it down theory:

http://steveblank.com/2009/04/10/good-enough-decision-making/

Love this excerpt:

Decision Making Heuristics for the Startup CEO

The heuristic I gave my friend was to think of decisions of having two states: those that are reversible and those that are irreversible. An example of a reversible decision could be adding a product feature, a new algorithm in the code, targeting a specific set of customers, etc. If the decision was a bad call you can unwind it in a reasonable period of time. An irreversible decision is firing an employee, launching your product, a five-year lease for an expensive new building, etc. These are usually difficult or impossible to reverse.

I realize now that this is what the founders practice anyway and what I have been doing a lot of. If it is just code and no one is harmed – just do it. We can also roll it back or alter it or even stay the course. No harm no foul. This is such a great reason to even be in a startup because you can move fast and change tactics at anytime. You still need the vision, the gut intuition and the confidence to move but you can always be moving versus thinking about moving.

I am trying to sort out how best to apply this to the way I run product at Spuul which is well – slightly different I think than most places. We just move – versus talk or meet a lot about moving. So far it is working but we have a long ways to go.

2014 is upon us. Make it count!

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