For Start -Ups, Use the ABC Rule
I use a mantra since Wadi Rumm called ABC- always be charging. It served me well in the desert, where power was precious and communication was crucial. At many times, we were several days ride from actual electrical power. But to us, the importance of blogging (and tracking!) our where-abouts were crucial to our state of mind, if not our well-being.
There were times when the sun was high and the solar panel would do wonders for laptops, phones and PLB’s but we were so exhausted all we wanted to do was crawl under a rock (literally 15 degrees cooler) and sleep. But Mr. Jones would never let that pass, and soon neither would I. If a recharge is available and the next power is days away, plug in no matter what. This simple rule got us through Jeddah, Wejd, Wadi, and all the way to Damascus.
But I have kept the rule with me. I used it at SXSW, I use it in airports, and of course I use it in the start-up world. On a long journey, in hostile territory one cannot afford to simply “run out”.
Much like power in the desert, the journey of a start-up has incredible resource requirements. Capital, of course. And Talent. Creativity. Process. And Strategy. If each of those are not recharged regularly, they become tired and weak. We rely on old standards, and resist change, preferring to crawl under the shady rock and wait until things cool off.
So, I try to take a page from my desert adventures whenever I can. Restock on talent, and fill the pipeline with A Players waiting for a chance. Exploring different points of view and different ways of doing things from all walks of life before re-engaging with the problems at hand. And looking at strategy through different lenses and with new data points regularly (but not incessantly).
Yes, Indeed as Saba and Tad taught me well: always be charging.