“Gun to the head—what would you decide now?”
“Fast forward 6 months after your sabbatical--how would you decide: what criteria is most important to you?”
“Putting aside a list of pros/cons, what’s the *one* reason you’re doing this?” “Why is that the most important reason?”
“What’s end-game here?”
“What does success look like in a world where you pick that path?”
“What would the best version of yourself do”?
“The Quakers have this idea where you don’t speak unless the spirit moves you. I'm waiting for the spirit to move me.”
h/t a friend
A/ Thanks for sharing because I value this relationship + want both of us to get needs met
B/ What I heard was X (summary)-- was that accurate?
C/ How can I contribute to meeting your needs?
“….” Don't’ say anything!
Take a lap. Or cold shower. Workout. Change your mind state before re-entering the conversation
“....” Still don’t say anything!
Ask for a pause: “Do you mind if we take a quick break and return tonight? I want to make sure I can fully listen to your story + appreciate where you are coming from.”
That last part is key.
“…” Probably best not to.
Unless you ask the caveat: "Are you interested in hearing feedback?"
Instead of “Why did you do that?”
Maybe: “What was going on for you?”
“If you had a billion dollars what would you do with
a) the money
b) your time”?
This shows where they want to change society and what they truly want to be doing.
This determines how they'll talk about you in the future--whether they'll view you in a charitable light or not.
“I’m going to pause right there for reactions”
Conversational tactic:— Erik Torenberg (@eriktorenberg) February 28, 2018
After rambling so much you either forgot your intended original point and/or don\u2019t know how to elegantly stop talking, say \u201cI\u2019ll pause for any thoughts or reactions.\u201d
“Let’s take this offline”.
“Why not bootstrap it so you can control your own destiny and have more optionality over selling for 50m, 100m?”
Also just a good question for every founder to ask themselves.
9/ Note: The Q should come from a place of seeking mutual benefit. Or else it\u2019ll ring hollow and manipulative.— Erik Torenberg (@eriktorenberg) December 4, 2018
When asking for a raise, it's less: \u201ctrue for you to feel I deserve this?"
More: \u201ctrue for you to feel it\u2019s in all of our best interest?\u201d
And you genuinely mean it.
More from Erik Torenberg
Why is this the most powerful question you can ask when attempting to reach an agreement with another human being or organization?
A thread, co-written by @deanmbrody:
Next level tactic when closing a sale, candidate, or investment:— Erik Torenberg (@eriktorenberg) February 27, 2018
Ask: \u201cWhat needs to be true for you to be all in?\u201d
You'll usually get an explicit answer that you might not get otherwise. It also holds them accountable once the thing they need becomes true.
2/ First, “X” could be lots of things. Examples: What would need to be true for you to
- “Feel it's in our best interest for me to be CMO"
- “Feel that we’re in a good place as a company”
- “Feel that we’re on the same page”
- “Feel that we both got what we wanted from this deal
3/ Normally, we aren’t that direct. Example from startup/VC land:
Founders leave VC meetings thinking that every VC will invest, but they rarely do.
Worse over, the founders don’t know what they need to do in order to be fundable.
4/ So why should you ask the magic Q?
To get clarity.
You want to know where you stand, and what it takes to get what you want in a way that also gets them what they want.
It also holds them (mentally) accountable once the thing they need becomes true.
5/ Staying in the context of soliciting investors, the question is “what would need to be true for you to want to invest (or partner with us on this journey, etc)?”
Multiple responses to this question are likely to deliver a positive result.
2/ “Being a VC” can mean a lot of different things, so it’s worth asking:
What actual activities do you want to do?
- Deep market analysis?
- Be in the flow of information and people?
- Make deals?
- Work closely w/ founders over time (e.g take board seats?)
- Manage capital?
3/ It’s worth specifying what type of VC you might like to become — as there are different archetypes. E.g.
- Benchmark (Lead series A/B - couple investments a year)
- First Round (Lead seed rounds, partner w/ a few companies a year)
- SV Angel (Make lots of seed investments)
Expa - Incubate companies
YC / Village Global - Build a platform to help entrepreneurs at scale
Do you want to join a firm or start one? There’s a lot to consider.
Different paths will require different skillsets & sets of experiences.
5/ Since the person who wrote the email is a young person trying to break into VC by joining a firm (and who doesn’t want to start a company), I’ll tailor this tweet storm to that goal. There’s some overlap.
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2....@Potus sent Jared Kushner (JK) to SA on an undisclosed trip and told King Salman that business as usual was over, and if he wanted Pres Trump's support, Prince Alwaleed would have to be divested of $ and power; Alwaleed is one of top Deep State $ men and was tied to HRC.
3. @Potus knew that before he could begin cleansing the US and the rest of the world of the DS, he would have to cut one of the financial head's off the snake (Alwaleed). After JK met w/ King Salman, Alwaleed was arrested and divested of billions; MBS became leader of SA.
4. SA loves Pres Trump because he's a man of his word; SA could not trust Hussein or Clintons because they use SA for oil and leverage; SA has many factions, but essentially you have the new and upcoming SA that is attempting to modernize through Crown Prince MBS, and then you
5...have the old guard represented by Alwaleed who was one of the Deep State financial heads and loyal to the DS more than SA; SA knew Hussein was financing Iran to hold western world hostage, and SA was caught in middle of Deep State black mail; this is why @Potus was celebrated
1/ Mindset: Someone from NYC won't think about it twice before taking a 6h flight to the Valley for business. Why do Europeans perceive a 2-hour flight / train ride as such a big deal? Travel more, there's plenty of opportunities around the corner you know nothing about ✈️
2/ If you spent more than a month considering whether to expand abroad or not, just try. What’s the worst that can happen? You can always do a big international launch, fail, try again and communicate it as a big thing every time - no one will care / remember the previous time :)
3/ Europeans perceive int'l expansion as a massive cost and therefore spend 1/10th of what US startups spend on it every year. Invest more, but keep a startup mentality: launch from home first, assess the market & then save costs as you go in, e.g. stay at a friend's; not a hotel
4/ Whilst not excessively risky / costly, expanding internationally is HARD. It's like starting up all over again, finding Product Market Fit all over again & building your team all over again. PMF will have to be your #1 priority, and an indicator of whether to keep going or not
Sheryl got her MBA at Harvard. One of the most famous cases (Extra Strength Tylenol) in one of the most famous classes (Business History) she took: in 1982, someone put cyanide in Extra Strength Tylenol capsules and killed 7 people in Chicago.
What do you do when someone turns your product into a weapon? When they use the system you built to harm? James Burke, CEO of J&J, was shockingly open with the public, he pulled the product and made significant packaging changes to make product safer (but not tamper-proof).
He over-shared every step along the way re investigation, redesign, stood up as both CEO and human. The reintroduction of new Extra Strength Tylenol succeeded. Burke saved the brand.
But four years later it happened again. A killer put cyanide in the capsules, this time a woman in Yonkers died. Same CEO, Burke, pulled the product again, completely changed the form factor from capsule to caplet and relaunched *again*. It worked *again*. How'd they do that?
Burke (CEO) tapped J&Js goodwill bank account w/ the public. Two big withdrawals from that bank account in four years + 8 dead bodies! But his honesty, openness, humanity (choked up about the deaths more than once), humility kept the goodwill bank balance positive the whole time.
Today, there are 500,000 young men missing from the U.S. workforce.
Research suggests video games & improved leisure tech plays a role in the problem. 👇 Thread:
Following the 2007 to 2009 recession, 25 to 34 year old men exited high school with fewer middle-skill job opportunities than years prior.
During this time, we saw an increased number of men living with parents & choosing unemployment over lower paying jobs.
It's estimated that 24M millennials live w/ their parents.
1 in 4 living in their parents’ home neither go to school nor work.
What's more surprising? 9 in 10 who lived with their parents a year ago are still living there w/ no plans to leave.
Economists are calling millennial men a lost generation.
According to economist David Dorn:
“If you get to the point where you’re turning 30, you’ve never held a real job and you don’t have a college education, then it is very hard to recover at that point.”
Economists suggest this choosiness is a generational trait.
Forbes interview w/ a high school educated man:
"I’m very quick to get frustrated when people refuse to pay me what I’m worth."
“People feel that they have choice nowadays, and they