Providing a catalyst
Every week I’ll share key insights from a conversation I had learned a lot from in a series called, Providing a Catalyst.
This past week I’ve had a multitude of conversations of people with varying backgrounds, experiences, and ages. To give you a better idea of the people I’ll mention a few personas:
**Note the charter traits I mention are not indicative of any of these people’s true stories, you’d have to hear it in person to make that judgment for yourself.
- An ivy league college dropout turned startup founder who currently works at a major tech company, she’s 23.
- A founder of a major startup within the Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning space, he’s 25.
- A software engineering manager at a fortune 5 company who’s in his mid-30’s and has a family.
- A startup founder in the marketing space that’s created a B2B SAAS product in his late 20’s.
- A college drop-out, turned founder, from a state school who’s coming off of his first exit and is deeply involved with the blockchain space right now, he’s 23.
- A college graduate, designer, early startup employee in the mobile gaming and crypto space, he’s 22.
- A supply chain engineer at a major tech company in the bay area, he’s 22.
- A software engineer at a major tech company in Seattle going to WWDC, he's 30.
- An entrepreneur-in-residence at a venture capital fund in SF, he's 27.
- A 42-year-old single mom of 4 who's an uber driver and a beach-body fitness coach.
- A young couple in their late 20's, both studied engineering.
I may be missing a few personas but the conversations with these people were the most memorable. The reason I mention their age is to find the common threads in people's thoughts from the different generations. I'm more interested in what doesn't change than what does.
There were many common themes from these conversations but if I had to pick one thing that was similar across all of them, it was that—everyone’s searching.
Fulfillment, meaning, and to be heard.
From these conversations I’ve learned that problems don’t go away with age, they compound.
The things you’re thinking about doing that you’re not doing will turn into regrets later.
The concept of compound interest is simple but difficult to truly visualize because of the power-law distribution. Learn more about it here.
A quote comes to mind:
“The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function.”
— Albert Allen Bartlett
I've learned that if there's something I want to do, I should do it now. There is no right time to do anything. The longer you wait for the longer you could have been moving towards what you want. Determining that is much more difficult, yet extremely important.
Another theme from these conversations was the importance of self-awareness.
We all know it's important, but what is it truly?
I'm figuring this out as I go, by no means do I have an articulate answer to it but here's my attempt:
It's your ability to analyze your thoughts, actions, and behaviors and have congruence.
Have you ever met someone who says one thing, thinks another and does something different? I believe this can be attributed to a lack of self-awareness.