We’ve all lied and been lied to. Lies erode and destroy trust, and it’s best to respond by curtailing, avoiding, or ending the relationship. Understanding the psychology involved can help us detect and respond to lies more effectively.
Projection is a defense mechanism where we deny things about ourselves that we find intolerable by perceiving them in others instead.
We blame others for our thoughts, feelings or actions by imagining they think, feel or act in a way that proxies our own intolerable behaviors.
A partner who lies or cheats might constantly accuse their partner of lying or cheating. An executive who executes their role incompetently might blame their organization’s bad results on other executives or their team.
In personal and work life, focus where your energy is being reciprocated.
In physics, the law of conservation of energy roughly states that the energy in any closed system remains constant. Energy can neither be created nor destroyed, it just shifts from one form to another.
Big changes come in small steps. The key to success in achieving big things is breaking them down into small pieces and making steady progress over time.
May 2022 had more layoffs than March 2020 at the start of the pandemic, and June is on pace to ellipse May. The tech boom that started after the 2008 crisis is now over, and we’ve entered the part of the downturn where layoffs accelerate.
Startups win by growing fast. As Paul Graham’s startup = growth essay explains, “A startup is a company designed to grow fast.”
VC-backed startups are designed to “eat capital and shit growth.” Growth expectations create a new definition of winning at each round of venture capital that your startup raises. Most businesses can’t scale rapidly based on large amounts of additional capital, which is why most businesses aren’t suitable for venture capital.
Leadership teams are built on three pillars: vision, people, and execution. The team needs to be strong in all three and this is achieved by thoughtfully designing for overlapping and non-overlapping strengths.
No VC pattern matching is more well honed than the assessment of founding teams. Last year I surveyed a list of top VCs on what they think are the three most important aspects of successful founding teams. I compiled all the responses into a founding team builder. The tool is meant for founders, but it’s equally useful to VCs and employees considering investing in or joining a startup.
A well written memo is the core of sharpening your startup pitch. You should write the memo first, and build the deck only once you have a final draft. Many funds write investment memos internally for investment committee meetings, so when an entrepreneur writes one they are effectively seeding what will be shared directly with the investment committee.
Everyone wants to maximize productivity and work-life balance with better calendar management and scheduling. Over the years I’ve learned two key tricks. First, plan with the calendar instead of a task list because the calendar controls real life time allocation. Second, manage inbound and meetings within predefined calendar blocks instead of reacting, because calendar whitespace will always default to what other people want you to do via meetings and inboxes.