I’ve been sick since Sunday. I hate being sick. My wife will tell you (find her at the Defrag registration desk) - I become the world’s biggest baby when I’m sick. I don’t handle it well.
Things are different this morning, though. I’m waking up absolutely INSPIRED. Here’s what I’m reading:
Howard Lindzon: Too SMALL to Fail (quoting) -
Â Here is why panic spreads. Otherwise smart people, who on the surface think they are calm, freak everyone out with their own passive aggressive panic. If you donâ€™t believe me, Sequoia and Uber angel investing guru Ron Conway are just now writing letters to all their CEOâ€™s and giving them advice on how to survive . I mean today?
No offense, but get over yourselves.
If you have a good business, these letters are ridiculous in the timing. Maybe force them to read this letter upon funding and make them memorize it, but at this point, it reeks of panic and fear.
I have been telling any of the CEOâ€™s that will listen to me, to THINK about how we turn this panic into an opportunity. We all have weak investments and weak CEOâ€™s, but a blast email on October 7th is absurd. Anyways, I am poor and they are rich, so thatâ€™s that. So while the rest of the world panics, you can panic too, or you can take a few steps back and remember how fortunate you are to be reading this blog, because if you are, you are â€˜Too Small to Fail.â€™ So what do I mean by that?
I canâ€™t fire myself. I am nimble and lean and have a plan. I see this panic and I want to think about the afterbirth of it. Panicâ€™s end. If you are smart and a little lucky, you will survive in good stead and historically, great things happen.
Read that last line 7 times in a row.
I’m also reading Brad Feld: Ok Entrepreneurs, Time to Step Up (quoting) -
My recommendation to all of you entrepreneurs out there is to get off the negative sentiment treadmill, step up, and lead.Â The people working for your company are likely confused, concerned, and overwhelmed with all the noise in the system.Â Â In the near term, building your business will likely be more challenging on a number of dimensions.Â So what - that’s the normal cycle of business.Â You don’t need to be a blind optimist and spout happy talk, but you do need to have a clear sense of purpose and goals for your company.Â Leadership 101.
I emphasized the “so what” for a reason.
I’m also watching Gary Vaynerchuk.Â Take 15 minutes and tell me you’re not excited and inspired.
So, here’s the thing - we roll with the punches. Defrag’s topic isn’t changing and our sessions are on point, but my new mission is simple: You WILL leave defrag inspired, optimistic and ready to go make something happen in this downturn. We can all figure this out. Now, not all of the startups will survive, but that’s okay. Let’s get together, work this out, figure out how to land customers *together* and then go make it happen.
And if you’re a “customer” - then you MUST be there. This is your chance to shape, mold, twist and mutilate the next round of products to PERFECTLY SUIT YOUR NEEDS. If you’re not there, telling folks what you want - then it is your fault when you don’t get what you need.
Bottom line: let’s use Defrag to set aside all of this gloom and doom. Let’s *not* turn into the “baby” that I become when I’m sick. Let’s get inspired. Work hard. Work together. And, finally, truly bring some innovation to ground. In some ways, we’re now all paying the price for “web 2.0″ - but the coming days are the days that will really matter.