“If you’re forming a startup, there are generally two kinds of stories to choose from about what the startup is for. Keep in mind that startups are companies that are trying to take over some subsection of the world. It’s ambitious stuff, so they tend to take on lots of early investment. They get somebody to give them a lot of money so they can hit the market with disproportionate force. And in order to pay that investment back, they need what’s called an “exit,” which usually comes in two forms: You’re either acquired by a larger company or you go public, selling your company on a market where people can trade your shares based on their speculations about what it’s worth. In both cases, you’re passing the company that you’ve worked to build off to new owners, who in turn might be buying it just to convince future buyers to pay even more for it later. It’s a weirdly normal pyramid scheme of capitalism.
What if there were another way? What if a startup that successfully builds a community could opt for an exit to ownership by that community?”
I have been holding my breath since March. While trying to keep my companies alive and making sure my kids feel emotionally safe.
I am done holding my breath.
“At any point in our lives, we can choose to be happy, no matter the circumstances,” my wise friend @suefan once said.
Think about it.
At any time you can choose love over fear.
I refuse to let 2020 go down as an unlived year.
I hereby exhale and surrender to what is.
I am going to breathe deeply and actively look for and celebrate anything that brings me joy:
Be it this imperfectly perfect heart-shaped tomato.
Rollerskaters dancing. (Check my Instagram story highlight titled HAPPY)
Tending to my plants.
Sitting with my neighbors on my stoop.. …
Given that 2020 is one big dumpster fire, I am trying to think of joy-producing ideas that up the ante.
Here’s one that made me giggle: What if we muster up all of our courage and confess to our secret crushes?
“Hi [insert name],
2020 sucks. But I figured it would make you happy to know that I have been secretly crushing on you.”
Can you imagine how that would make your day?
There are 124 days left in 2020. Let’s live a little. Let’s be warriors of joy.
PS: Please, exhale.
I was able to listen in on the live taping of this episode of How To Citizen with Baratunde and Eric Liu as his guest. A timely and important listen for many of us. And also, for me, as I just became a citizen, after living in the USA for 21 years. Eric started Citizen University and is an overall impressive human. Thank you Baratunde for all you do. Very, very excited for this new podcast of yours.
Civic evangelist Eric Liu shares a powerful way to rekindle the spirit of citizenship and the belief that democracy still works. Eric is the founder of Citizen University, an organization trying to foster a culture of powerful, responsible citizenship across the country.
I have been spending the past 1.5 weeks on a small lake in upstate New York and am feeling a deep sense of clarity being so close to water. I posted about it on Instagram and someone suggested I look up the Blue Mind Theory. This makes so much sense.
The first thing you do is to forget that I’m black.
Second, you must never forget that I’m black.
You should be able to dig Aretha,
but don’t play her every time I come over.
And if you decide to play Beethoven — don’t tell me
his life story. They make us take music appreciation, too.
Eat soul food if you like it, but don’t expect me
to locate your restaurants
or cook it for you.
And if some Black person insults you,
mugs you, rapes your sister, rapes you,
rips your house or is just being an ass —
please, do not apologize to me
for wanting to do them bodily harm.
It makes me wonder if you’re foolish.
And even if you really believe Blacks are better lovers than
whites — don’t tell me. I start thinking of charging stud fees.
In other words — if you really want to be my friend — don’t
make a labor of it. I’m lazy. Remember.
I will not die an unlived life
I will not live in fear
of falling or catching fire.
I choose to inhabit my days,
to allow my living to open me,
to make me less afraid,
to loosen my heart
until it becomes a wing,
a torch, a promise.
I choose to risk my significance;
to live so that which came to me as seed
goes to the next as blossom
and that which came to me as blossom,
goes on as fruit.
— Dawna Markova
Call-outs make people fearful of being targeted. People avoid meaningful conversations when hypervigilant perfectionists point out apparent mistakes, feeding the cannibalistic maw of the cancel culture. Shaming people for when they “woke up” presupposes rigid political standards for acceptable discourse and enlists others to pile on. Sometimes it’s just ruthless hazing.
We can change this culture. Calling-in is simply a call-out done with love. Some corrections can be made privately. Others will necessarily be public, but done with respect. It is not tone policing, protecting white fragility or covering up abuse. It helps avoid the weaponization of suffering that prevents constructive healing.
Calling-in engages in debates with words and actions of healing and restoration, and without the self-indulgence of drama. And we can make productive choices about the terms of the debate: Conflicts about coalition-building, supporting candidates or policies are a routine and desirable feature of a pluralistic democracy.
“Revolutionary love is a well-spring of care, an awakening to the inherent dignity and beauty of others and the earth, a quieting of the ego, a way of moving through the world in relationship, asking: ‘What is your story? What is at stake? What is my part in your flourishing?’ Loving others, even our opponents, in this way has the power to sustain political, social and moral transformation. This is how love changes the world.”
— Valarie Kaur
Loving this talk by former Kickstarter CEO Yancey Strickler. With a simple four-square grid Yancey shifted his entire perspective on decision-making, his sense of self, and his relationship to the world. His concept of “Bentoism”, inspired by the Japanese bento box, is a way of framing your choices with an eye to the future, beyond your own self-interest, and with consideration for your community and the next generation. I’ll definitely be applying this to my life. Grateful.
One of the biggest things lost in remote work is chance meetings. These are very important, but hard to quantify. If you measure productivity on individual projects, everything will seem fine. Yet when you read stories of how things happened, chance meetings were often crucial.
I am feeling this Tweet (and the responses) on the loss of chance meetings by going remote. I personally thrive on the unstructured, serendipitous meetings. Trying to figure out how to create them in a remote context, some folks seem to believe it’s possible.