Monthly Archives: August 2012

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As i wander throogh daily musings i stumble on Steve’s Vision vs, Hallucination. Enjoy, i did.

Steve Blank

A founder’s skill is knowing how to recognize new patterns and to pivot on a dime. At times the pattern is noise, and the vision turns out to be a hallucination. Knowing how to sort between vision and  hallucination can avoid chaos inside your startup.

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Yuri, one of my ex students started a big-data analytics company last year. He turned his PhD thesis into a killer product, got it funded and now was CEO of a company of 30. It was great to watch him embrace the spirit and practice of customer development. He was constantly in front of customers, listening, selling, installing and learning.

And that’s where the problem was.

I got to spend time inside his company while I was using their software to analyze early-stage ventures. What I saw reminded me of some of the best and worst things I did as a founder.

A Pivot a Week

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Bringing Life to Thought

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Bringing Life to Thought

Such is the story of a lonely woman.

I’ve been hesitant to post for a couple of weeks now. Emotions are rampant but the fingers can’t seem to capture their essence. So I sit here allowing these hands to rest on a keyboard and wait for the fingers to do their magic.  I feel…OMG can you believe…Today started…The dreams I had…My grandson did…. All these are the beginnings, yet none of them will give permission to be shared except for one.

I belive in the power of words, and the power of prayer. If you share someone’s story, no matter how difficult, you create a space for that person to receive healing. You put ‘her’ fears out into the world for everyone to see and in effect, you have given her an audience, an ear, a shoulder.  Afterall that is really what she wants. Someone to sit and listen, and acknowledge that she is here, that she is ok and that no matter how hard life is, that it will all be ok.

Such is the story of Connie B.  A woman alone, who hangs on the life she shared with a husband passed 17 years, 9 months, and 3 days ago. She came into my life 16 years ago, my neighbor. A good woman, with pretty red hair, Connie B, that is her name.

Every day we would stand out front and talk about the people who were trying to hurt her, the doctors that damaged a nerve or left something inside, the HOA who was trying to steal her house, and the people who stand under her bedroom window smoking cigarettes. Then there was the thief who came into her home and took 1/2 of her can of buttons. Everyday the story would change and would eventually come back full circle.

I tried hard to hide from her; peeking out the window before I left the house, hiding behind the car so she wouldn’t see me when she walked out her door.The meetings gradually decreased to once a week then even more infrequently until they stopped completely. Until recently.

Instead of being the shoulder she needed, I have become the target. The stories of harm, neglect, stealing are now my bidding. Today I received a present. A large paper bag neatly stapled closed with a letter hand written and folded neatly into an envelope.  Inside the bag: a nightgown she wore last night, one pair of her dead husband’s skivies, and mother’s old oxygen tubing. Sending my daughter running….the dead rat.

Prayers for a lifetime. That is all I can do. Prayers that she receive the help she needs.

Well, that’s the story. These fingers have done all they can for today, and a bowl of ice cream awaits.