An ignorant mind is precisely not a spotless, empty vessel, but one that’s filled with the clutter of irrelevant or misleading life experiences, theories, facts, intuitions, strategies, algorithms, heuristics, metaphors, and hunches that regrettably have the look and feel of useful and accurate knowledge. This clutter is an unfortunate by-product of one of our greatest strengths as a species. We are unbridled pattern recognizers and profligate theorizers. Often, our theories are good enough to get us through the day, or at least to an age when we can procreate. But our genius for creative storytelling, combined with our inability to detect our own ignorance, can sometimes lead to situations that are embarrassing, unfortunate, or downright dangerous – especially in a technologically advanced, complex democratic society that occasionally invests mistaken popular beliefs with immense destructive power (See: crisis, financial; war, Iraq).“We Are All Confident Idiots” David Dunning, Professor of Psychology, University of Michigan, Pacific Standard magazine, October 27, 2014
Why are you doing what you are doing?
I believe in people and their incredible capabilities, sometimes even too much. I thrive when I’m a part of a well-functioning team, and I’m allways trying to build one. Seeing how people moulds reality together is something that delights me on a deep level.
How I’m trying to achieve that?
I’m trying to enable people in my team to do their job as good as they can. But to do something genuinely spectacular, you need to have more than people – you need to have a well-rounded team. A well-oiled team of average Joes will beat a bunch of talented individuals. So I’m balancing between making a working team and helping individuals to grow.
What are you doing exactly?
I do this is delegating the right amount of responsibilities, by removing internal and external obstacles, trying to get the best tools, improving processes, coaching and advising with professional growth.
I see micromanaging, which is fear in disguise as a top one sin of managers and directors who are afraid of failure. However, people learn the best when they do something on their own, so I delegate and have plan B if something went wrong. If this fails – improvise, and put the best possible fight.
Removing internal and external obstacles
I view my position as being somebody who isn’t afraid to take the blame and fight for my teammates. People around me should know that I have their back, even if they mess something up or the situation is dire. I try to listen to the problems or needs, don’t promise anything, and then try my best to deliver.
Tools & processes
They are blood and veins of the management, which is often overlooked, as managers and directors are focused on urgent crises. Fixing current fires is the first step to get to know the system and how it feels. The second part is reengineering a whole workflow together with all involved actors, basing it on its unique needs and specifics of the business. This is one of the most exciting challenges in my profession, but this is a marathon, not a spring.
If you grow by 1% every day, you will be 37 times better after just one year. This is why the most important is making people around me better every day in whatever they are doing. My ultimate KPI for this is feeling redundant, as my team doesn’t need me to solve most of their problems. This enables me to focus on experimenting and expanding, so the organisation can grow even further.
Sources: past experiences.
Today creating a fully-fledged product is a huge investment. Good developers are expensive thanks to overpaying tech-companies, and reaching out to customers (Facebook Ads costs growth, internet ad blindness) is as expensive as ever. Have in mind that the internet is much more mature than a few years ago and it will be harder to create a 10x better or addressing the unsolved problem is hard.
So what to do if you want to start a new internet business? You need to cut the costs and do cheap spray-and-pray strategy until one of your project sticks. Of course, do it with smart Customer Development approach.
This is why in the last couple of years there is a rise of „side project” startups – small solutions, with a minimal amount of tech included which solves very specific problems. One of the biggest advocates of them is a founder of Product Hunt, Ryan Hoover, who even started a Weekend Fund which focuses on investing in this type of projects.
So if you are dreaming about creating something, let know your loved that you will be out for a weekend, and spend this two days to create something using „No Code” tools Ryan listed in his blog post.
Maybe something you create will be lovable enough that it will be worth to invest in it more. If not, it will be just two days you spend on learning useful skills. It is a win-win scenario in my book.