Ours go to ELEVEN!

You know, just like in SpinalTap, our amps are louder.  Yours' go to 10, ours go to 11.  Everyone loves that and has a good chuckle when they hear it.  But what does it really mean?  To me, it means that you've been doing everything you can to make your startup work and, somehow, you dig a little bit deeper and find more to give.  Put in more than 100% because 100% just isn't good enough and good enough is not enough.  If you want great, you're gonna have to do better.  


That's where I am right now.  I've been working on unseat.me in one way or another for almost two years.  From dreaming it up to finding a domain to writing up the idea to building a prototype, designing and launching to growing, adapting, hustling  refining, adding, subtracting, hiring, testing, pitching, raising, dealing, modifying and pushing forward, it's been an onslaught of work.  And still, there is always more work to do.  The challenge is prioritization, of course.  What needs to get done today?  What can wait?  What seems like a good idea but may not be worth the time, energy, cost?  What is a distraction?  What do users actually want?  What should be delegated?  What should I hire someone to do?  Even after that priority list gets tightened up, there is still too much on it.  Plus, on top of everything, there's fund raising.  If pitching to investors takes up too much time/attention, there is no way your business is going to succeed.  Product, marketing, sales, HR should all be higher priorities than fund raising.  But without money, the whole thing could come apart anyway so, you have to decide how to spend your time.  


At unseat.me I think we've had a good balance so far but now we find ourselves at a cross-roads and, after giving 100%, I need to come up with more.  More time.  More creativity in deal-making.  More focus.  More intensity.  More resources.  More contacts.  More schmoozing.  More enthusiasm.  More conviction.  I have to take it to 11.  Ten is no longer enough.  If this is going to be a billion dollar company, it is going to take more.  The good news is that I have it to give.  I have not held back but I am inspired to do even more now.  For every sleepless night (working late, obsessing about one thing or another, etc.) there are five mornings that I jump out of bed ready to go; excited about a new feature, pumped about the day's meetings, eager to get to work.  I love the hard work.  I love building.  I love solving a problem that big, entrenched players don't want me to fix.  I am in this to win this.  Now excuse me while I take mine to 11.  

1 response
I applaud you Lael.

You are tenacious and resilient. Two qualities that will serve you well as you push to 11. And if you need to find another gear, I have a funny feeling you will find one. Innovating within a going concern is tremendously challenging. That is what I teach at Eye-Cubed University. However, regardless of how difficult it is to bring innovation, inspiration and implementation for business leaders, it pales in comparison to the challenges of launching something new, unique and untested.

I have always felt that you can and will beat the odds. Keep the faith brother! You are an inspiration.