Friday, March 15, 2013

Corollary: Sometimes You Have to Go Heads Down

Heads Up Mode:

You're paying attention to the market, you're watching what startups are doing, you're engaging in the conversation. You're reading GigaCrunchInsider every day and your head is spinning with all the opportunities you could take advantage of.

You're networking, meeting new folks, attending conferences, writing blog posts. You're part of the chatter, great. You're forming partnerships, starting new projects, being ambitious, and trying new things. Terrific.

You've signed up for ideas, made commitments, met people who believe in you, who want to invest in you.

Its time to go into Heads Down Mode.


Heads Down Mode:

People are inviting you out for lunch. "Sorry, trying to ship."
New article just came out about TangentialCrap. "Looks interesting, but no thanks, trying to ship."
Business partner thinks you should consider tangential path. "Hey, lets just ship the original idea first, okay."
Friend sends you a funny video. "No time, trying to ship."
Lets play League of Legends tonight. "Sorry man, really want to, but need to ship."

Headphones on.
Email off.
Phone off.
IDE open.
Productivity happening.
Door closed.

Heads down, trying to ship.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

"Learning" Is Not Forward Motion

So, you're listening to Mark Cuban's advice, you're reading everything you can to get an edge. Congratulations, you've joined the Heads Up Club. You're paying attention to new trends, and you can talk at length about the pros and cons. You are probably better informed than lots of other folks out there in a similar position to you.

You have the edge in knowledge. Now how about the execution?

You know you're not really moving forward. But, do you know why? Its because you're still playing the part of a student, or worse the "idea guy"...  even if your skills are at the apprentice or master levels, you're defaulting to the same mode you've been in all your life: absorbing knowledge without acting on it.

"But, I have to learn more before I can do anything!!!"

Baloney.

You're in the dangerous position of potentially looking back 5-10 years from now having gained a lot of knowledge and nothing else to show for it.