When I first started my career I was taking any job I could get to learn the ins and outs of web design and programming. I found a user on Reddit that said he needed his current website to be moved to a new server and didn’t have the time to do it. This is something I’ve done 20 times over and so I messaged him saying I could do it for $200 bucks. He agreed.
I then proceeded to move the website from one server to another and this time around the website went offline with multiple 404 pages everywhere. I spent the next 3 days trying to figure out how to fix it with no prevail. After some research, I found another friend of mine that could do it for $250. I stopped to think... Should I lose out on $50 bucks? I thought I was going to be making $200 bucks and now I’m losing $50!! I ended up paying him. He taught me how to change the WordPress server to a self-hosted server and the rest is history.
There were two lessons I learned that week. 1; Doing the right thing and 2; Never count your chickens before they hatch.
That guy introduced me to my first investor and got me work with other companies. It’s crazy to think what would have happened if I flaked.
✍️ Quote of the week:
Learn where the money is flowing and put yourself in the middle of it.
🎶 Song of the week:
🧠 Top 3 learnings:
🧑🔬 Authority - I use to dislike the word “Authority”. Mostly because it felt like it meant people had more power over one another. It can be used to describe people in a hierarchy that’s above the common collective. One mentor a long time ago said it in a different meaning. He said authority is when you have more domain knowledge over the group and have the decision power to act on it. Being an authority means that the team relies on you to make decisions that only you can make because you’re the subject matter expert. Also, this means that it doesn’t only include being smart about the subject. It’s also about being tactical too.
At Amazon, I was the interaction designer for a live TV project. So when a VP saw a new animation from another designer he would turn and say “Has Frank seen this?”. That’s when you know you have that authority. When others value your decision even when you’re not in the room.
☝️ Own the vertical - People/companies who are most successful own the vertical that they’re in. Mcdonald's became a billion-dollar company when they focused on real estate instead of burgers. Tesla became a billion-dollar company when it focused on owning its battery manufacturing instead of outsourcing it. The people creating the most success in crypto are the ones mining and operating on the core technologies. So if you want to be successful learn the bigger picture and put yourself in front of that problem.
📊 Goodheart's Law - “A measure ceases to become a good measure when it becomes the target.” OKRs are built around this theory. What this means is that if you focus too much on one single target then you start to lose sight of the bigger picture. For instance, if you’re trying to lose weight and look at the scale as an end number you will do a lot of unhealthy things to get to that end number and lose sight of the goal of being healthy. There are other measurements that reflect weight loss such as body fat, water, and muscle mass. So don’t think one single measurement is giving you the whole story.
In the business world, this law translates best to OKRs. The goal in OKRs is that many measurements are adjusted with each new learning. So if you don’t meet a certain goal you don’t fail, instead, you see it as a learning opportunity and adjust it down. If you go above the target then you learn from it and adjust up.
🖍 Designer thoughts:
Brand - Jeff Bezos said, “your brand is what others say when you’re not in the room”. A lot of people think it’s a logo or an object that reflects the company's logo but it’s much more than that. It’s the feeling you get when you interact with any part of the company. Kimpton Hotels will not only put a bottle of champagne in your room for your honeymoon, but they'll also search online for your wedding picture and add it to a frame next to that bottle. It’s walking into your favorite coffee shop/restaurant and they know you by name and get your order started.
Most brands do the bare minimum to get to their customers. Like having a “your call is important to us” message when trying to contact support only to wait 45 minutes on the phone. Or sending a 5% off coupon on your birthday which doesn’t even cover the cost of sales tax.
The brand is the satisfaction you get because of what the brand made you feel. Apple doesn’t advertise what its phone is capable of. It advertises what’s possible when people use their products.
👴 Dad thoughts
I got to hang out with my daughter yesterday at school as they were holding their yearly kid's fiesta parade (A San Antonio thing). Cici made her float and I got to see her walk with other kids showcasing her float. After the parade we had lunch and I sat around hanging out with her and playing games that other kids started joining in on.
It reminded me of the quote, “80% of being a dad is just showing up”. The other half is being present. So I try my best to play with her, talk with her, and sometimes join in on her imaginary games. We avoid things like movies, concerts, or noisy restaurants because it doesn’t really give us the space to talk, play, or create together. I’m not saying those things are bad and it’s good every now and again to consume things together but it’s also good to create things together and be more present with other activities.
Have a great week! Viva Fiesta!
📬 PS: Please do reply to this email if you have anything to add / or any questions. I quite enjoy replying to comments/emails as a source of procrastination from revision.
📬 PPS: Please hit the <reply> button and let me know what you thought of this email if you have a spare few seconds. I'd love to hear your thoughts on what was useful about it and what could be changed. Thanks <3