Startup Lesson Learned: Know Why You’re Here

http://fernsandfancy.com/note-cards/ This past Thursday I attended the Dallas Startup Happy Hour 2.0 to do some networking for my startup, Selloscope. I thought, “I have a Dallas-based startup, these guys are Dallas-based startups, it’ll be great to get out and meet some people.”  I was expecting it to be a little difficult to break into the conversations. (Actually it wasn’t so hard.) What I hadn’t counted on was this:

The first question everyone asks is, “Why are you here?”

So I give them the honest answer… I have a startup, I’m in Dallas, doing some networking, etc. etc. Turns out, that is the WRONG answer.

Continue reading “Startup Lesson Learned: Know Why You’re Here”

A Rationalist Responds to Godin’s Blog Post “Are You Rational?”

In his recent post Are You Rational?, Seth Godin makes a broad argument that nobody is rational all the time (true enough): that some decisions fall squarely within the domain of  rational methods (e.g., analyzing your Adwords click-thru rate) while other things are best approached irrationally: falling in love, appreciating music or wine, or generating ideas for new businesses and startups.  He goes on to say that “irrational passion is the key change agent of our economy.”  Simply put, he proposes that there are entire domains of human endeavor  that are better managed  with the  “gut” — a common belief and arguably a staple of American culture itself.

A great professor once told me, “If a good essay is one that’s fun to argue with, yours is a great essay.”  It’s in this spirit that I can’t resist offering a counterpoint to Godin.  My argument: that passion and irrationality are two different things.  Passion has place, but the time when it was OK to “go with your gut” is well behind us. Continue reading “A Rationalist Responds to Godin’s Blog Post “Are You Rational?””