M&M 45: Gravity
I've noticed many differences between being an entrepreneur and an employee in Big Tech so far.
Success as an employee in Big Tech means starting in a low gravity environment, and gradually, as we get promoted, climbing to higher levels becomes harder. Juniors get promoted fast, but seniors have to put some time in at level; gravity increases as we rise.
But entrepreneurship is the opposite; it starts as a very high gravity environment, similar to earth. And as we climb and see some success, the easier it becomes to see more success. And for those lucky enough to get to outer space, it's smooth sailing.
Of course, this is not the only difference; there are others, like being an employee seems to be all about consistency. And entrepreneurship is all about intensity.
Why does any of this matter?
Some of you on this newsletter may be trying to do both simultaneously. You may be an employee by day and entrepreneur for your projects on your nights and weekends. Like I was for a long time while in Big Tech. And you may be mistakenly using the same tactics for both as I did. I put consistent reps into a side project for months and expected to be wildly rewarded, but it never happened.
Now that I am an entrepreneur full time, any amount of success I've had has come from trying wildly different things. And going after each of those things with a vigorous intensity. What's more, any small amount of success with any one thing has made going after the next thing that much easier, like escaping gravity. E.g., the more I sell something, the more ideas I seem to have for more things to build and sell, and the more followers I seem to get on social, making selling easier. This is the opposite of being an employee trying to get promotions, where things get harder not easier.
So, suppose you are in this position of doing both at once. In that case, you, too, should consider time boxing your side projects and using different tactics to the ones you use as an employee. Maybe try going after them with intensity when inspired—then reassessing and trying different things rather than stubbornly expecting what works as an employee to work as an entrepreneur.
Two Tweets from this week:
This tweet thread from Benjamin is excellent. It explains the concept of anti-fragility in beautiful laymen's terms. As simply as possible.
There are a lot of bad things going on in the world right now. Being born in Eastern Europe, and having lived under communism for a few years I remember how hard that life was vividly.
And now it's heart breaking to see what's happening in Ukraine today.
Like many, in the social media age, I have been following the situation closely but there isn't a whole lot you and I can personally do, other than worry.
It is in these times I am remembering many of the words of my grandfather.
Two Memes from this week:
As Pieter correctly points out the danger with entrepreneurship, and chasing inspiration lies in the above diagram. We need to avoid that.
This meme is funny because it's exactly what recruiting looks like for engineers.
Thank you for reading and have a great weekend.
(P.S. A lot of the thoughts for tonight's essay were formulated from my recent experiences as an entrepreneur and conversations I've had in the Small Bets Community.
And recently Daniel was kind enough to give our entire cohort a free seat each to give away, as a reward for being early members.
So I will be giving one seat to the Small Bets course and community away to the first person that emails me. Since I only have one to give away, I don't want anyone getting mad me from this newsletter if you don't get it :-) Email me, I'd like to hear from you anyway.
Worst case you can buy it, its absolutely worth the money, and I highly recommend it. And Daniel is not paying me to say any of that.)