The internet is now saturated with quick tips on how to Grow your startup team in 7 actions or 20 Things I learned from my Ex-boyfriend while living in Vietnam. While I do enjoy a quick read (much like this post will be); I also enjoy reading complete sentences that don’t rely on large text and numbers to do the work for them. The titles of some articles are incredibly appealing, I know. It’s hard to not click that pretty little link that promises to Teach Yourself HTML in 75 Steps.
Humans are natural-born list makers and it feels damn good to check tasks and or thoughts off a curated list. By the end of these articles, one is certain to obtain enough micro-knowledge to become a millionaire or Olympic superstar. I only find myself dissatisfied and slightly cheated. I want more solid information and I want it in one sitting. Don’t give me a list of links that force me to link chase for an hour only to end up where I started. Stop it! It’s sad to see multiple platforms falling into the BuzzFeed trap and it makes me want to cook a Sylvia Plath inspired lunch. Stop…making…lists.
I’m writing this post from a bright, beautiful condo courtesy of the Downtown Project in Las Vegas, Nevada. You know, sin city? The city that is known for strippers, the Wolfpack, & other cliché characters. I planned my trip here to take the Zappos tour and meet with some of the Startup Weekend community members. I was excited to meet the people but I certainly was not looking forward to the loud sounds of slot machines and tourists wearing fanny packs. Within three hours of stepping foot in Vegas, I realized my preconceived notions were completely wrong.
An Investment in People
On day one, I began with a tour of Downtown Las Vegas. This is not the strip, Elvis doesn’t take your photo, and good luck feeling like a tourist. One of Tony Hsieh’s many ideas, The Downtown Project, is hand crafting a community based on collaboration and creativity. I had read the stories and retweeted the #vegastech related pieces but I had never stepped foot in it until this week. The tour started in Tony’s actual apartment which is seemingly a direct extension of the Zappos office. A representative from the project overwhelmed me with knowledge and ten minutes later, I got it. The excitement in the plans translated into my own system. This is a hugely ambitious project but it’s working. The downtown portion of Las Vegas has been in dispair since the 1950’s. But now, the streets are filled with people eager to change the game of Vegas. Continue reading
Hiring and firing is an often controversial topic. Feelings are involved and you are ultimately reaching into someone’s bank account and saying, “No more money for you!” It is a hard process to process. When interviewing candidates, you are trying not to judge them yet isn’t that exactly what you’re doing? Of course there are state laws and regulations that come with questions you can’t ask. There is a fine line between asking too much and not enough. But before you even shake their hand on that first interview, your company should ask themselves, “do we really need a __________?” Continue reading
I have always been a gal on the move. Whatever that means. Simply sitting idle has never really intrigued me. I can’t stand it. Even in my younger days as a kid in Indiana, I was moving. This means exactly what it sounds like. The longest time spent in a house as a girl was probably three years. To some, this may sound chaotic. But it engrained a belief into my brain that I still cling to today. Sitting still sucks. Continue reading
The United States is home to one of the most static education systems in the world. We often view a graduation tassel as the first gunshot in the race that is life. Once you have graduated, you are expected to get a higher paying job than those with no degree. However, graduating high school or even college isn’t enough anymore — and it can’t promise a rewarding job or a steady income. Many students are still lacking basic, fundamental skills that they need to achieve sustainable success.
We can begin to remedy this problem by implementing more entrepreneurial skill sets into our national curriculum. Entrepreneur Cameron Herold, who also held the TEDx talk “Let’s raise kids to be entrepreneurs,” explains that education reform is something that we have to be entrepreneurial about — and that open-source learning will be the future of education as we know it. Cameron suggested in our discussion how starting with “platform speaking, handling objections, and finances” as core skills to teach. He also mentions “teaching self-reliance rather than sitting back and waiting on the government to do something for you” as a compelling new approach to traditional education. With the rapid evolution of modern business and technology, we can’t wait on others to reform education for us. Continue reading
A man aged about 45 years old was on a geography induced tirade. A nice guy but seemingly uneducated on the mere locations of his own country. He was physically shocked at how close my hometown of Evansville, Indiana was to Nashville, Tennessee. “I thought everyone just wanted to go to Chicago,” he asked. When I told him about the other cities near my hometown, he flew into an eyebrow raising conversation. For fun, I told him the truth that I have never even visited Chicago! Hell, I had only just visited Indianapolis for the first time last year! Continue reading
I have a confession. I love my job. I say that with vigor when asked where I work and the general response is usually a solid laugh. Surely, I am being sarcastic? No, I am whole heartedly in love with my job. We’re in a committed relationship that I see no end to anytime soon. I am not wishing away my week and counting down until Friday. I do not dream of being somewhere else while in my workspace. I truly love my job and it’s time I stop apologizing for it. Continue reading
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In order to be a company with transcending qualities, your core missions and goals must be well known. If every single employee or team member cannot recite the collective goals, something is missing. I am not implying that every person on your team should recite the manifesto word for word but they should be able to summarize it. Test it out in your office sometime. Randomly ask people what their company does. Who do they do it with? And most importantly, why do they do it? Continue reading
I can barely begin to describe my time in Rio de Janeiro so just stalk my Facebook or Instagram for visuals. For the past five days, the Startup Weekend team + our wonderful Organizers shared stories and fun in Brazil.
Once a year, we all come together to learn and figure out how to keep doing what we’re doing. We refined our dance moves with Samba dancers, saw Cristo Redentor, burned ourselves on the beach, lost wallets & phones, held a three-legged race, fell in manholes, & listened to big name speakers like Marc Ecko & Brad Feld. But in the midst of all of it, something bigger happened. Continue reading