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Finishing the Work of Founding a Company

Founders often feel their work can never be completed.  Or they feel that the completion of this work could only be the completion of the company, an exit in which the company becomes someone else’s opportunity, someone else’s problem. Let’s play with the opposing idea: that there is a distinct founding era in a company,… Read more » Read more

Duck Rabbit

The “Duck-Rabbit” and the Art of Entrepreneurship

Anyone who has built a company knows what it’s like to flip back and forth between just knowing that what they’ve pictured in their head really will get realized in the world – and despairing that the latest just-maybe-insurmountable obstacle could derail the venture entirely. In his Philosophical Investigations, Wittgenstein writes about the “duck-rabbit” picture. … Read more » Read more

Achieving Big Things

A Short Guide to Achieving Big Things

I recently had the opportunity to give a workshop for World Economic Forum Young Global Leaders called “A Short Guide to Achieving Big Things,” with some help from friends and fellow “YGLs” Angela Sun, Kristin Rechberger and April Rinne. The workshop highlighted underlying patterns for how people accomplish very large goals that require the efforts… Read more » Read more

Mind's Eye

Working from the Mind’s Eye

On a flight back from South Africa, reading John Reader’s panoramic Africa: A Biography of the Continent, I came across a passage that evoked the irreducible essence of what it means for a person to do work. Homo habilis had been fully capable of making tools from cobbles, and that talent served its need for… Read more » Read more

Clear Strategy

What Does it Mean to Have a Clear Strategy?

Too often companies treat the crux of “having a strategy” as a formal question – is there a document that lays out in writing a direction forward, a set of targets and a plan?  Really, “having a strategy” is both an operational and an intellectual question – a matter of what people are doing and… Read more » Read more