Trouble - It's not always a bad thing

Trouble - It's not always a bad thing

I’m usually pretty quick to judge whether I want to get in trouble with someone or not.

- John Doerr

John Doerr, the Chair of the Venture Capital firm Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers, is best known for being an early backer of Google and Amazon. Clearly, he saw something in Jeff, Larry and Sergey (Bezos, Page, and Brin) that made him want to get into “trouble” with them.

Two things made me run to my computer and pop this quote down on paper. It made me think of both perspectives of choosing when it comes to getting people involved with your ideas. And “getting involved” in Doerr’s case is handing you, among other things, a giant check to build what are now two of the most successful companies in the world.

Are you worth the risk?

Trouble, in this case, actually means risk. A risk of time, energy, relationships, money to see if something amazing might manifest. And note the very subtle but key reference here: The risk is not in the idea, it’s in the people. What is Doerr really saying? I “buy” YOU before I buy your idea.

Do you surround yourself with people who can bring out the “trouble” in you?

I’m the LAST person to say I don’t surround myself with cheerleaders. I love each and every one of them. Sometimes I REALLY need them to help me talk myself off the proverbial ledge. But equally, I love to surround myself with co-conspirators and contrarians. These are highly trusted people who question and push. People who nudge you out of the echo chamber of your brilliant idea to make sure you’re thinking with other perspectives.

Such a lovely word “trouble.” It conjures all sorts of images of adventures and shenanigans from my youth. Adventures and shenanigans that always resulted in learning, growth, and awesomeness.

So how are you trouble? Might be worth exploring.

 

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Working on "Elon Time"

Working on "Elon Time"

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