December 24, 2012

Seinfeld & Startups

The New York Times covered Jerry Seinfeld in yesterday's Sunday Times magazine. If you run a startup, please go read it here

You might think you're an artist, but you need to be a craftsman, constantly refining your work.

This piece reminded me of the importance of practice, the importance of obsessing on the small details. Some people describe me as not detail oriented, but that's only some details. There's nobody involved with Mission Research who knows the deal terms and Articles like I do, or the cap table, or the market.

That's not a boast, it's an admission. I obsess over certain things, and research like hell. Too much in some cases. I miss other details that matter, but knowing that I'm more aware of it.

Communication is one; managing communications is an important practice, and when I'm on top of it I obsess about every word, the timing, the audience. I anticipate reactions and develop strategies for handling them.

When I'm not paying attention to some of the details, well, shit happens.

Read the article. It's not about being a comedian, it's about being a professional obsessed with the quality of his work and its impact on people.

I never imagined I'd blog about Jerry Seinfeld, but I just relearned something important. I read a lot of startup, tech, and VC blogs, and very, very few (if any) have nailed it like this article has.

Develop your craft. Obsess on the details of your craft. Practice. Put yourself out there and learn from what happens. There's nothing like a live audience responding to your craft to make it better. And you need to be better. All of us do.