I have to thank my friend and cofounder Nick Spiller for setting this call up, because speaking to Mr. Chiang was incredibly thought provoking and as an aspiring entrepreneur his go-getter, street smart, action oriented attitude got my juices flowing.
A little research can go a long way. Before chatting, I looked up Duck9.com and a few of his guacamole recipes. What really interested me was his 11 minute SXSW flash party idea, and all for $217! http://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-launch-your-startup-at-sxsw-for-only-217-2012-1
BUSTING CATCH 22’s —-> this is by far the most important piece of advice
So the original catch 22, was that in the air force you’d have to have 22 flights as a pilot to be honorably discharged from the air force. The only problem was that the average number of flights before deaths was around 3.
Starting a company, or starting anything for that matter is riddled with Catch 22’s. Want to host an event? The big names don’t come unless you have an extensive guest list and equal peers coming. The guests and peers don’t come unless the keynote is confirmed. And there lies the problem. Your event might be killed on the spot
well FUCK THAT, BUST IT. Call bullshit. Find a way to bust it.
For uThinkTank that is first posting an eventbrite page, plancast page, and facebook page, to build hype for the event, thus busting the guest list and thus can move forward with getting the right speakers there.
Read, Re-read, Execute:
This is something that stuck with me and has been in my head for the past 24 hours straight. Yeah, I like to read a lot. The only problem is I forget the last two parts. Re-reading means digesting the material…not skimming. The last part halts pretty much everyone in their tracks. He said I’m young, so I’m lucky if I actually take his advice now. Aside from getting What they don’t teach you at Stanford and reading more duck9.com blog posts, I think it’s about time we put a few concepts to the test. Things can go utterly wrong…but that’s only if you’re an idiot, so let’s hope for the best and make sure we’re counting the 650+ things you really need to accomplishing a goal. I’ll take this to heart and make sure I can field test concepts I read in other books like Guy Kawasaki’s Enchantment, Tim Ferriss’ Four Hour Work Week, and IC2’s Knowledge for Inclusive Development.
Pattern Recognition, Iteration, & Replication:
This is simply put as one of Larry Chiang’s chapters “copy and paste your way to success.” This means taking some best practices and applying it to your situation. NO it does not mean take some generalized concept and apply it. From what I take from Mr. Chiang’s view of this, it means recognize a success of another, break it down into incremental steps (ie. their guacamole recipe), and try it out. Fail, and try again with incremental changes until replication. Once replicated, it can probably be scaled. The importance still lies in the doing. Pattern recognition can be found through simple data analysis, but the iteration and replication to other facets of life take a lot of effort.
REALLY don’t ask for permission, ask for forgiveness (done right!):
When Larry Chiang talk’s about Guacamole Recipes; he’s talking about every little tiny step. Those tiny steps matter. Last night we discussed naming an event we were planning and it was meticulous to the point where we had to have the exact words, “Johnny, Nick and Larry’s unofficial RISE pre-party,” which had to do with Copyright law. Regardless, when he says ask for forgiveness, he means by not messing up. If you are not a value added, then the shit can hit the fan fast. If you break up the expected, have a good turnout, and give some credit to the original host, then you’ll probably be forgiven and possibly thanked.
1 Goal, 600 tasks:
This seems to be the core of the life-hack magic that Larry Chiang has already broken down in his own book and Guacamole recipes. It’s every meticulous detail that puts you ahead of the rest. You execute and deliver something with a few steps extra than the entire (possibly commoditized) market, and you’re golden. You’re the winner!
He’s a certified life-hacker, and if you don’t get to know him, then you’re at a loss. I have to thank him for setting aside an hour and some to chat with Nick and I about the entrepreneurship ecosystem at UT. Sure we got busted and our “idea” isn’t going to make us billionaires, but it will make an impact, and what’s next can only be better.