Perspective is one of the hardest assets to acquire. I think it's key to thinking big, and thinking long term. I've found that when I don't have perspective, little things start to look really big, and easy stuff starts to look really hard. Here are some things that gave me perspective this past month. Plus a bunch of other random shit.
I was in Haiti last week for a dear friend's wedding. There was considerable unrest while we were there, related to a corruption scandal involving the president. Many roads were blockaded, and we were unable to leave our hotel for several days. The country was beautiful, the food incredible, and the people affable.
SpaceX launched a rocket into space powered by two boosters it had already launched into space. Then it landed two of those boosters back on earth and will re-use them yet again. We humans are capable of incredible things when we work together.
In college one of my friends committed suicide. He was having trouble paying for college and joined the Army Reserve. His unit was set to be deployed to Iraq, and I think he felt scared and overwhelmed. I honestly don't know why he took his own life, because we never spoke about any of this. Looking back, I didn't real deal with or think much about it after it happened. It was too hard to think about, and I didn't even know where to start. Last week I opened up Facebook and saw that it would have been his 30th birthday, and it hit me pretty hard. If you're ever feeling overwhelmed and alone, just know that I'm here and I'm always down to shoot the shit with you.
Hunter Walk spoke at Atrium Scale and mentioned that he likes to work with entrepreneurs that'd want their company on their tombstone. I thought this was an off-hand remark, but it turns out he's put some thought into this.
One of my favorite quotes from Children of Dune: "To suspect your own mortality is to know the beginning of terror; to learn irrefutably that you are mortal is to know the end of terror."
It's been a whirlwind few weeks for Josh and I, packed with customer meetings and significant progress on some new technical bits that we're pretty excited about. In brief, we've come to realize we need to disrupt ourselves, and we're currently validating our plan to do so. I may be able to share more in the coming months.
We've taken a few opportunistic meetings with VCs that have some expertise in cybersecurity and enterprise SaaS. So far these have been pretty fun and I feel fortunate to get to talk through our vision with smart people excited about the same problems we are.
We added the ability for (approved) security researchers to submit email addresses to the EmailRep blacklist. Previously we were having them DM or @ us on Twitter. Now this can happen automagically.
We'll be at Blackhat and DEFCON in August. Holler if you will too and we can arrange to share the same spacetime coordinates.
What I'm reading
The Four Steps to the Epiphany by Steve Blank. This has been our customer development guide at Sublime. I think this book has 10x'd our customer learnings so far.
"Why does the U.S. Women's soccer team get paid less than the men?" by Ann Killion. The short answer is "there is no good reason". It would seem that compensation would be based solely on two variables: 1. How much money the team makes for the league, and 2. How successful the team is. The women's team outperforms the men's team on both counts, but is paid 1/2 to 1/5 as much. Both teams should get paid the same base salary, and then a % of revenue generated by their league at end of year. Simple.
Musashi by Eiji Yoshikawa. A Japanese epic, the Gone With the Wind of Japan. I'm one chapter in and so far it's riveting. I don't read much fiction that isn't science fiction or fantasy, I'm glad I made an exception here.
The Courage to Be Disliked by Fumitake Koga and Ichiro Kishimi. Picked this up on the recommendation of Aly DeNardo. I'm reading this one via the Kindle app on my phone. This + Duolingo is how I spend my idle phone time now, vs scrolling through Twitter/Instagram.