Bullshit stinks…even if it is your own !!!
- Starry eyed entrepreneurs
- Large well funded company founders with their gyaan
- A topic or subject that brings it all together “omnichannel, disruption or the likes”
- Lots of talk about ‘how I did it’, ‘how you should do it’ ‘How Apple did it’
- And finally a few ecosystem stalwarts who everyone knows, but Nobody can really put a finger on why exactly.
Oh, I forgot a nice little bill and lots of sponsor goodies.
Let me tell you what PNGrowth was not about. It was not about any of the things above and for that alone the 3 days were worth it. Here is what it was about:
- Product founders who wanted to be category leaders
- Coaches and mentors who wanted to dive deep and dissect your core beliefs, share things that work and stay away from “strategic discourses”
- An organization of volunteers who seemed almost more interested in your growth than yourself
- A framework which gave structure to the entire 3 days of sessions
- Lots of pointed conversations between founders, mentors and the team from Stanford, Duke and Harvard
- And most importantly – a commitment of calling out bullshit as soon as it is sighted or heard anywhere on the sprawling Infosys campus
I am sure I was not the only founder who got the rudest shock when we were shook up from our roots and told that there’s tonnes of bullshit and jargon floating around in our ideas and thought processes. We were told to take a ‘panga’ – with ourselves, our mind blocks, with the billion dollar companies, which we want to disrupt, with the universe that does not conspire to help us. Where else would you have a founder tell someone else “your idea sucks, you need to relook at why you are even in business”, only to find a response bereft of any defensiveness or aggression. Just plain and simple introspection.
It is always the founder who knows his business best but these three days had every single one of us relook at why we do what we do, how we get there and what we build to achieve our purpose. We spoke of ‘belief statements’ instead of the archaic vision-mission statements, we spoke of category leadership instead of funding goals and we challenged our coaches instead of being lectured by them.
So here are my takeaways; I am sure everyone had their own, but I suspect I represent a fair majority when I put this list together:
- Focus on your North Star
- Question your whole purpose of being – your core belief
- Get a grip on your unfair advantage
- Set measurable milestones and execute like mad
- Don’t lose focus
- Get ready to take a Panga
- Stay away from bullshit; its stinks even if it is your own
- A little beer with your cohort doesn’t hurt J
My vote of thanks will not have names because leaving out even one would be a travesty. iSPIRT is such an incredible movement and the people who came together to share their time, intellect and goodwill wrapped in brutal honesty have my respect – now and forever.
It is time to execute now.
Go big or go home. Take a panga or put up your resume on a job portal. I think I choose former in both the cases and so do 200 other hustlers I saw in that room.
May the force be with you all!