The longer I spend in the startup space, the more it feels like an exercise of appreciating modern art. Someone inevitably and invariably will says, "Is that all? I could have done that!"
"Yes! That is absolutely true. But you didn't."
Hindsight is one of those beautifully empowering things - everyone has it, and everyone uses it freely and abundantly.
VIVA has not been subject to that sentiment recently, but I have heard it said about others. It bothers me because it disrespects the hard work that someone commits to create something. The process of creation is something that is beautiful and sacred.
The Uber driver en route to aMBUSH Gallery asked me how I was.
"Today is great day! Except I haven't been very productive."
"What does productive mean to you?"
He had me stumped. I have never sought to define "productivity" before. Productivity simply was. I told him a little bit of what I had to do, and then it occurred to me what productive meant to me - solving puzzles and creating solutions.
Just before catching the Uber, I was chatting to Shaun, who also left his corporate job to run a startup - Course Couch. Shaun was telling me about "pirate metrics" and the idea of setting one singular metrics for our entire team to pursue. We had been pursuing a cocktail of outcomes because we thought there were so many elements that needed to be satisfied in order for VIVA to work as intended - winning event organisers, winning users, advancing the technology, ensuring stability, improving speed, winning more event organisers, winning more users, enticing them to engage with each other, and so on. If we could mix it just right, then we would create a delicious martini.
But maybe there can be a singular metrics... maybe it isn't about the martini... or maybe, as our friend Steve Torso suggested, we don't have to mix our own martini.