My friend and former business partner Jerry Colonna has created CEO Bootcamp. It’s a four day retreat in the Colorado mountains with 19 other CEOs and a few facilitators, led by Jerry. The first CEO Bootcamp was last fall and you can see what attendees thought about it here. And here’s a blog post by Sooinn Lee about her experience last fall at CEO Bootcamp.
There are two aspects to this experience. There are the four days where attendees learn skills to help them manage the leadership role they are in, and there is the ongoing support that the group of CEOs provide each other after the retreat is over.
The CEO Bootcamp has some requirements. They are:
You’re the CEO of a tech startup that has employees.
This is the first time you have been a CEO within a company of this scale.
You’ve logged immeasurable hours and have made tremendous sacrifices.
You’ve had success with your company. You realize there is more to this game than “success.”
You may be tired, but you must be vulnerable, curious and courageous.
If you fit these requirements and want to spend four days in early April in the Colorado mountains with a bunch of peer CEOs figuring out what it takes to be a successful leader, you can apply here.
ok, but who pays for the marijuana?
That’s a joint effort.
:-)It sounds like fun.I hope it’s very loosely based on The Edge (Anthony Hopkins, Alec Baldwin), but with a lower mortality rate.
I haven’t seen that one.
Definitely a drinking movie.
you are close to earning the comic badge. you’ve been on a roll the past week Jim
Brevity and levity
you’re bad Jim
I’ll take that as a compliment, thanks.
Love your one liners, Jim
cocaine too? that’s so liberal.
For $10k it should be included, no?
yes.is it legal to purchase marijuana in Colorado using bitcoin i wonder?
I finally got to see Jerry live a few weeks ago when he was over here in Italy.He gave one of the best and most honest presentations I have ever seen.I can only imagine how much more intense and useful the bootcamp must be.
he really enjoyed his visit to Milan
It is thanks to this blog and the guest post on the management team from 2 years ago that I started following Jerry. I finally wrote to him last fall to thank him because even without knowing it, he was giving support to so many silent entrepreneurs like me through his blog, his videos, his twitter feed. That’s how the visit to Milan was born. Your work on this blog and its importance go beyond what you are aware of, I think. Thank you.
i think we can thank the Internet for all of that too. it has given me the platform to reach way beyond what i could do in person
Thanks Linnea for making that happen. Your work in Milan, above and beyond the company, is powerful. You’re embodying a core principle that Brad Feld speaks about in the need for entrepreneurs to take the lead and build their startup communities themselves.
Thanks David. I try to bring my whole being to those talks. It can be exhausting for me but I think it makes a real difference.
Looks and sounds great. Just staring at the logo makes me feel cleaner, clearer, smarter and more confident already…
Ah the power of good graphic design. 😉
Agree.Would like to a/b test this bootcamp by doing one that takes place not “in the Colorado mountains” but in some random town with 1 story motels in Pennsylvania. God I even noticed the word “fresh” and “leaders” juxtaposed with “Colorado Mountains”.My point being that all details surrounding things matter something that has been lost in the Internet age of rising tide floats all boat ideas.
I run across things that just shout out as something to import that I wished I had had back then.This is one.Support infrastructure for today’s entrepreneurs in tech is really a gift.
and it just keeps getting better and better
Yup…and honestly it works both ways. Great to have venues where those like myself can give back…and learn…as well.
Gifts? Let’s list a few!(1) An 8 core processor with 64 bit addressingwith a 4.0 GHz clock for less than $200. Gottatype in code really fast to keep up with that puppy!(2) My current PC I built a few years ago hasone hard disk with 250 GB and two more with200 GB each. While I’m still trying to fill those,can buy 3 TB for about $140 which is less thanI paid for any of my 3. At one time all of FedExhad 7 TB of hard disk — now can get that ina mid tower case. Heck, my daily incrementalbackup is 1.5 GB, and that used to be alot of data!(3) Main memory, essentially the fastest,highest quality stuff, with error correctingcoding (ECC) goes for less than $10/GB.Software technology has hardly changedsince 1 GB of hard disk which was thesize of a very overweight refrigerator andcost, what, a few hundred thousand dollars?Now a lot of stuff that, sure, used to have tohave on hard disk can just put in main memory.(4) For a server farm LAN, get 1 Gbps datarate standard, on the mother board, no extracost, and can get 10 Gbps in a NIC (networkinterface card). We’re talking moving a DVD full, say, a long movie, in 4 seconds.(5) Can get a LOT of the best system softwarefor free, at least for 3 years or forever.If have some ideas for what to program, thenthen the mid-tower case hardware, operatingsystem software, middle ware, programminglanguages and compilers, class libraries,utility programs, Internet, services in the cloud, etc. are all ready and waiting. For writing software, it’s a dream.
Question for Jerry…This seems to be about ‘more than business success’ which I buy into.Wanted to send this to some clients but there is a ‘success’ quotient in the application that begs for some clarification. Can you define as you seem to be targeting CEOs beyond market fit and into spiked revenue/profitability.Thanks.
Can you give me more on your question? I’m not sure I understand it.We’re not looking only for “successful” entrepreneurs. (Whatever “success” means.) We’re just focused on being certain that the cohort that gets created is supportive and understanding of each other.
Sure, you say:”You’ve had success with your company. You realize there is more to this game than “success.”Zero revenue, 12 months of funding? Profitable?Just trying to get who you are looking for.
I don’t think it has to be granular. Its, I assume, a mindset change.If you spend your entire life chasing an external definition of success, then you likely end up with nothing that you really wanted.Conversely, if you don’t concern yourself with how other view you, then you never become successful and many things you wished you could do get filed as regret.#lifelessons #justguessing #notjerry #fallongetsadimeforthispost
Is financial security an external definition of success? I don’t think so.And most of us don’t get there without self cognizance as most don’t get their without leading others.How you deal with your life and the imbalance of it is a topic of never ending importance. Not clear whether you are agreeing or disagreeing with this.
I agree with you but I don’t think your comments apply to as many people as one would hope.
“Is financial security an external definition of success? I don’t think so.”I think that depends on the person.You can be successful in the eyes of others but if you don’t see yourself as a success then that (others seeing you that way) really doesn’t matter that much (although it can have it’s benefits because they will treat you differently).You can not be successful in the eyes of others but if you see yourself as a success that alone can make you happy. (As long as you don’t know that they think of you as not successful).I think of happiness and success as a good example of what I call my “air conditioner” theory. If you are sitting there with your hand over the a/c register and you have to wonder if the a/c is working it almost certainly isn’t . Because you know cold air when you feel it. So by the same token if someone is wondering if they are successful and thinking about it then they aren’t because even if they are if they don’t think they are then something has gone wrong and they aren’t able to celebrate what success and happiness they have.
This looks like a terrific experience for the lucky CEOs that will be part of it.I’m waiting for Jerry’s book to come out 🙂
My friend Raman Chadha started a slightly different thing in the same vein here in Chicago. It’s called the JuntoInstitute.org. Instead of four days, it’s a 10 month curriculum. He had his first class, and the participants thought they got a lot out of it. First of it’s kind program teaching emotional intelligence and leadership to startups. He based it on James Liataud’s research. James took four companies public by the time he was 55, and his son used his principles to start JimmyJohn’s.I am not a CEO, but I bet I could learn a lot from Jerry’s class.
I saw a post on Brad’s site as wellhttp://www.feld.com/wp/arch…
.The development of leadership is one of those business topics that everyone has an opinion on but few people really know what they are talking about.The best folks to learn from are folks who have actually done it. Don’t get me wrong you can learn a lot from folks who have been involved with businesses but if you want to really learn, go find someone who has actually done it.It is a very messy process but the saving grace is that everyone has leadership talent within them and all it takes is a bit of friction to set it free. Oh, I’m not being a Pollyanna on the subject — sure some folks have a bit more natural talent than others but everyone has some.The question is how do you unlock it?Perhaps the most liberating realization is that you will screw up royally while learning and earning your chops. Remember the first qualification of a leader is having some followers — willing or unwilling.The military does a damn good job of developing leadership potential. If you go to a military academy, they have 4 academic years and 3 summers to marinate you in the craft.Still young officers sometimes arrive at their Basic Course completely clueless. In 4-5 years, you can’t tell the difference among the West Point, VMI and ROTC grads — if the training has taken root.An indicator for some aptitude is the embrace of team sports. The understanding of how teams work. When my daughter — My Perfect Daughter — was playing sports, I always nudged her toward playing with the boys. She was a scrapper and it has helped her today. No basketball ever went on the floor without emerging with a red headed pony tail attached. On the floor, everyone is equal.I applaud this type of training but it does not have to be this elaborate or extreme. A bit of leadership is simply the spur to make the leap yourself. Once you are doing it, you are educating yourself.Confidence is a huge ingredient.JLM.
“the first qualification of a leader is having some followers” – while this is certainly true, one of the most important part of my military leadership training was the deeply ingrained perspective of learning to follow first. The importance of perspective from bottom to top was critical in the development of my companies and I fear is lost so often in young inspired entrepreneurs today.A successful product may simply be the outcome of a great idea, not a great leader. Moreover, how many great ideas were crushed because of poor leadership?
.Damn good point.I remember my last year at VMI when one of our salty sergeant instructors was training us in “platoon in the attack”.He said: “Listen up. The next time you do this you may be trying to get some draftees from Newark to follow your orders not a bunch of VMI cadets. They will not like you.”We used to take turns being the Plt Ldr and the other cadets were the riflemen.No truer words were ever spoken by him or you.JLM.
My experience at the Academy as a freshman was they first teach you what it is to be a follower…..then you get more leadership skills as you go up the ladder. Third degrees are responsible for fourth degrees etc. You learn fast that shit flows downhill.
.Haha, us trade school guys know better.First, they brutalize you. Tear you down to nothing and when you are completely deconstructed, then and only then they begin to rebuild you.They rebuild you in a manner that works because, in the case of VMI, they’ve been doing it since 1839.I remember being asked how many pushups I could do. I was very proud that I had been working out and could do 100 pushups.The Corporal prick told me to get down and do 20 pushups — 20 times.Whatever you bring, they will break you.Having lived through it, I can applaud the system. I would not wish it on another human being who was not similarly inclined.JLM.
I remember those years when there was a chance I’dbe in the military and that they would try to”break” me. The stories about “breaking” peoplewere scary and easy to take literally. While I hadonly heard the stories and didn’t know details, myemotions were clear: My motivation for’self-preservation’ took over. I regarded anyeffort to ‘break’ me as being attacked by an enemyand, really, equivalent to trying to kill me. So,in resisting, fighting back, my attitude was that Ihad everything to gain and nothing to lose. Anymilitary guy who tried to ‘break’ me would bedeclaring himself as my ‘enemy’ and starting a ‘war’with me.I’d defend myself the best way of any way I could:I’d punch him in the gut, hit him over the head witha rifle butt, sneak into his room at night and put aknife into his back, go AWOL, or whatever looked thebest, not out of raging emotion but just out ofcarefully rational self-preservation. No way did Iwant anyone to ‘break’ me. Teach me? Fine. Giveme a fair test? Sure. Refuse to give me creditearned? Not good. ‘Break’ me? No way.Luckily after my military ‘physical’ with its IQtests, where likely I did very well, my draft boardtold me to cool it; I wasn’t going into themilitary.One hundred push ups is a lot, and enough. For somejerk off who likely couldn’t do 100 push ups tellingme to do 20 push ups 20 times, I’d just concludethat he was trying to be an A-hole, deliberatelyunfair, deliberately impossible to please, ignorantabout physical training, and, thus, out to get meand maybe my full enemy. The military is good atteaching people how to regard an enemy — don’t givehim a break, send him to Hell; best do this quietly,with stealth.My understanding is that the military has a longhistory of bad superiors getting killed, in waysimpossible to trace, by mistreated subordinates.It’s called ‘fragging’, right, and was common inViet Nam? As I recall, in the past few weeks youmentioned some such thing with “elite” units?I don’t know how the military breaks people withoutgetting a lot of DIs killed. I know DIs get a lotof exercise and have some good skills, buteventually they will get a recruit who actually is aworld class guy in martial arts; for a DI to try to’break’ such a guy by actually being violent withhim is a good way for the DI to get a broken arm,leg, or neck. Maybe a DI is a bit prudent on justwhich recruits he tries to ‘break’?Deliberately ‘breaking’ people is ugly, dirty,nasty, destructive, likely dangerous, business.I’ve seen really good people broken, just in highend academics, and the results were ugly — reallygood people seriously injured for life, with somesuicides. Bummer.Somehow already in elementary school, fromplayground fights, teachers who didn’t like my poorhandwriting (common for boys in grade school), etc.,I learned that I couldn’t please all the people allthe time and, thus, would sometimes displease somepeople and that some of them would attack me. ThenI learned that in such cases I just had to defendmyself. E.g., somehow in the fifth grade oneteacher was really angry with me; I don’t know why(one suggestion was that she had just been jilted byher boyfriend, and I, already about six feet tall,reminded her of him). So once she sent me to theprincipal’s office. There the principal of theelementary grades was a really nice, seemingly quiteinsightful person (my school was public but by avery wide margin the best in the town), sat me downin her office, gave me a long arithmetic problem todo, walked out of her office, and in about an hourjust sent me back to the class. Nice principal. Ihadn’t done anything wrong; the teacher just didn’tlike me.When I was in grad school, my department Chair wasbig on being tough with people. There was a courseI didn’t need to take, took anyway, but walked outof because the material was way too elementary andnot nearly solid enough; I was there to learn goodstuff, not waste my time on junk that I mostlyalready knew. In another course, I likely knew thematerial better than the average of the three profsteaching it and had a lot of rock solid evidence toprove it. I’d already taught several sections of acomparable course at Georgetown University. But theone prof assigned to assign the grades felt that Idid not show proper respect for him and gave me a C.I complained quietly to him; I let it slide; theturkey wasn’t worth roasting. I didn’t need thecourse anyway.Besides, in the eighth grade the math teacher gaveme a D and advised me never to take anymore math.The ninth grade algebra teacher gave me As and sentme to the state math tournament. After the 11thgrade I was sent to an NSF summer math and physicsprogram. My Math SAT score was second in the schoolbetween the two top Jewish students! Freshmancalculus? Taught it to myself and started withsophomore calculus. My GRE math score was 800. So,I’d long since known that a lot of school grading isabsurd. I guess that eighth grade teacher didn’tconsider my Ph.D. dissertation topic stochasticoptimal control math!So, the Chair, Professor Tough Guy, wrote me a nastyletter. He opened a can of worms best left closed.But, since he fired his shot, I responded on thepoor quality of the two courses, and the prof of thecourse I walked out of and the prof that gave me a Cwere both fired. Next I took an exam; there was anerror on the exam, and I wasted too much time on theerror, trying to prove something that was false, andgot failed; such errors in texts, fine; on such anexam, no way. I objected, got an oral exam in frontof four profs, got a “high pass’, the prof that madethe mistake on the exam was fired.That was three down, one more to go: The Chaircontinued to attack me. The school suddenly got anice pot of money and a new Dean who wanted mystory, and the Chair was gone. We’re talking onegrad student getting four profs fired, including twothat were tenured and one Full Prof.Later I was in a big organization, and a guy 1-3levels above me, depending on time, didn’t like me;no good reason; we’d had nearly no contact. But hewanted to start a war. He did this and that dirtybureaucratic trick. E.g., he claimed that someresearch I’d done was “not publishable”. Of course,my math was too advanced for him to read; it wasn’tall that difficult; heck, I didn’t even get into’forcing’ arguments about ‘measurable selection’ (wecan have a conference in an airplane rest room withall the people who know that stuff — in my researchI found a novel way around addressing it!).He found some people he claimed could read my mathand state that my work was not publishable, butthose people failed to notice a small error (mostlyjust typographic and just for an example) in mypaper. So, no one really read my paper. So, onemanager walks me out the door. We’re talking dirtystuff here, e.g., claiming my paper is notpublishable without reading it.Next day that manager is permanently demoted out ofmanagement, and the guy 1-3 levels up is put underanother guy and, thus, essentially demoted one leveland given a six month ‘performance plan’ which hefails. He was permanently demoted out of management.So, down with two guys long in management.My paper gets published essentially as is in a goodjournal, the first journal I submitted to.I don’t like people trying to break me. It can benasty out there, even for no good reason. Sadisticpeople do exist; also mixed up people, paranoid,combative, jealous, resentful, sick, just nasty,etc. Sometimes just have to defend oneself.Maybe your claim of “break” people is a bit toostrong. I HAVE seen people broken, actually, reallybroken — it was ugly business. I never got broken;those grade school lessons that some people mightlike to fight me for no good reason let me know thatat times I would just have to defend myself, andthat was good training for life in not gettingbroken. Some of what I’ve been through has beenknown to break people. A lot of wild animals useactual combat only as a last resort because aninjured animal is likely soon a dead animal; a lotof humans are far too eager to pick fights. Really,no one wins a fight. The best way to handle fightsis just to avoid them.At this point, unlike when my draft board knew who Iwas, I have to suspect that the way the US military’breaks’ people is fairly carefully done, where’breaking’ is too strong a word and not like some ofwhat I saw in, say, high end academics.I’m reminded of the now famous excerpt from thespeech by General John McAllister Schofield to theWest Point graduating class of 1879 that starts:”The discipline which makes the soldiers of a freecountry reliable in battle is not to be gained byharsh or tyrannical treatment.”with more athttp://en.wikipedia.org/wik…For one more, watching ‘The Longest Day’, the moviehas the Germans highly disciplined. Commonly witheven a hint of something wrong they had high concernand jumped into action.However, apparently they missed a huge point: Earlyin June, 1944, Ike was sitting over there in Englandlooking at tables of the moon and tides andconcluding that in all of June there was only oneday for the invasion, June 6th, and that the nextsuitable day would be in July. So, if the highlydisciplined and diligent Germans had just tried toput themselves in Ike’s position and studied thedata on the moon and tides, then they would haveknown that June 6th was the only possible date untilJuly. So, do everything to defend on June 6th (orto be more cautious, maybe a few days around June6th), e.g., cancel various optional meetings, go onfull alert, move up the reserve Panzer divisions,etc., and then in case of no invasion just relaxuntil July. Also, once there were hints, say, near1 AM on June 6th, of an invasion, then conclude thatit really WAS the invasion. That would have giventhe Germans several hours earlier notice. Lesson:This super severe stuff can be dumb — destructive.
followers should be very careful about who they follow.
The best folks to learn from are folks who have actually done it. Don’t get me wrong you can learn a lot from folks who have been involved with businesses but if you want to really learn, go find someone who has actually done it.Wasn’t clear the distinction you are making but now after re-reading “folks who have been involved with businesses” would be, say, investors, attorneys, accountants, bankers. At first it mashed together into the same person.
.Beware the advice of innocent bystanders. CEOing is not a business for the innocent.Bad advice is prevalent than good advice by a factor of 10:1.JLM.
I highly recommend it.
.Becoming a CEO is captured by this quote.Imagine a wise man on the edge of a huge precipice with his followers — CEOs in waiting behind him.“Come to the edge.’We can’t. We’re afraid.”Come to the edge.’We can’t. We will fall!”Come to the edge.”And they came.”And he pushed them.”And they flew.’This quote is from Guillaume Apollinaire. It has always captured for me the essence of undertaking leadership — you have to make a leap of faith that you can do it.I remember clearly standing in front of my first platoon in the Army as a 2nd LT and thinking to myself. “OK, I can do this.”Because I had a damn good Plt Sgt and because I had the wisdom to listen to him, I flew. The whole transformation took less than 6 months.Everybody has this in them. I promise. Everybody. Guys like Jerry can coax it out of them. He can provide that push.JLM.
great comment and great metaphor!
A reference to Apolinaire is the sign of a good day. The coiner of course of the term Surrealism.
Useful for paratroopers as well I imagine 🙂
.Actually getting kicked out the door for the first guy in the stick — usually me — was just a part of the ritual.I remember hanging out of a door not being able to see the drop zone and sure that we were in the wrong place. Wrong place meant a long walk home.Somebody put a boot in my ass. Out I went and all of my stick followed close behind.We landed dead center.JLM.
“Somebody put a boot in my ass.”Hah I never even liked being pushed into a swimming pool.
.Once you are out the door and into the prop wash, the training takes over and you are flying sideways.It is all just training after that though the ride down under the silk is one of the best things one can ever experience.JLM.
My friend Walt Ehlers (who went ashore in the “back half of the first wave” at Omaha beach) tells me I would have been okay in that situation. Not sure, and I certainly don’t want to find out.
The way I learned to ride a bicycle: My brother,about 7, three years older than me, put me on hisbicycle, held on to the seat to hold me up, and offwe went. He kept saying, “I’m here; I’m stillhere.” Soon I was 20 feet ahead of him with himstill saying “I’m here. I’m still here!”. Workedgreat! How to learn to ride a bicycle in 10 secondsor less and with no training wheels, ever!There’s an opportunity for ‘machine learning’ of a’control system’ here: Assumelinear-quadratic-Gaussian (LQG) control (which has’certainty equivalence’, e.g., as in Dreyfus and Lawon dynamic programming) and use the first 10seconds, as essentially my brain did, to fill in the’plant dynamics’ and ‘costs’ in the linear andquadratic parts. A lot of manual tasks usuallylearned by experience, say, docking a boat, canyield to some LQG ‘learning’! This is old stuff –don’t tell the Silicon Valley ‘machine learning’guys since don’t want to blow their little minds andsingle minded faith in poorly done maximumlikelihood estimation (MLE)!
During nightly file backup I’ve been watching the old movie ‘Der längste Tag’,right, the English translation ‘The LongestDay’. There the John Wayne characteris angry about missing his drop zone by”five miles” for his goal of taking St.Mere Eglise.How the heck, say, without GPS or earlieraccurate navigation, did your plane do sowell or the one in the story in the moviedo so badly? Badly? In the movie,F Company landed in the middle of thetown and was slaughtered. Bummer.
Well played, JLM.
A keeper. Thanks.I still believe that there are ways to stumble, butmy experience is that often there is no secret magicand, instead, just show up, try, try not to doanything stupid, do the obvious things, and it canwork.E.g., it was 7 AM in the morning and the sun wasstill not up. I had studied trigonometry only as asenior in high school four years before. I had beengiven a trigonometry text I’d never seen and was infront of a class of college students takingtrigonometry. I did fine. I still wished I hadgiven them the last lecture on Fourier theory with alot of pictures, e.g., on how to use Fourier theoryto map layers underground and find good places todrill for oil (Enders A. Robinson), but maybe nexttime!No magic; from what else I’d done in college withtrigonometry in math and physics, what I’d donelecturing in my ‘reading course’ in topology, it wasall plenty easy. I wrote out tests with easyquestions for a few points and tough questions wortha lot of points. I spread out the scores of thestudents on a wide range! One student got nearlyeverything, ended up with nearly twice as manypoints as the next best student; could have walkedout of the class and taken 0s on everything throughthe final exam and still come in second in the classand still made an A. Met her socially two yearslater and married her two years after that.Brilliant girl.E.g., I was in a software house in a competitivebidding process for some engineering software.There was another software project in trouble, and Iwas sent to clean it up, in a week; after an hourI saw that that would be impossible. But thecompetitive bid involved, in part, some estimationof the power spectra of ocean waves. Hmm …. So,how to estimate power spectra? Somehow I’d foundthe classic book by Blackman and Tukey, written atBell Labs, yes, no doubt not far from the offices ofC. Shannon and R. Hamming. So, at dinners at aplace in Silver Spring, MD with good broiledflounder, I read through Blackman and Tukey. I sawenough and the rest of the week knocked out someillustrative software showing what could and couldnot be done in estimating the power spectra of oceanwaves. On the last day, a Friday, I called one ofthe engineers at the client; we met at the computercenter; and I showed him my work. Suddenly mysoftware house won the competitive bid! No magic;just read the darned book, easy enough, and writesome illustrative code.But not everything is so darned easy! Girls! Yup,there’s plenty of mystery there!
I’d love to go, but as the CEO of a startup that’s only raised a few hundred thousand dollars, the $10K is prohibitive. Any chance you’d consider doing a scholarship contest?
Reminds me of the line in “Dirty Harry” “who’s ‘we’ sucka”?”you” is Jerry Colona et al so you should probably approach them.http://www.leadershipreboot…I’m curious though what kind of “contest” you would suggest to determine the most worthy person to get the scholarship.
In the wake of Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s tragic death, it strikes me that while everyone needs the ear and help of a friend, including at times professionals, people with talent and gifts, who spend intense periods of time giving back themselves via some product or art, are in intense need of help during those times. Help can be perspective, support of peers, and support of people like Jerry, who help you see into yourself and look outside to the world to manage a balance which helps you define your course and stay on it.To transform yourself around a goal to make a thing to change the world or add to it is an act of staying true to yourself and immense shape changing to achieve that. A process Jerry and others like him know well, and is a gift itself to guide.We need more people and professionals supporting this delicate process, and awareness of the human cost of making, so that the birthing of ideas doesn’t destroy the makers in the process.
people with talent and gifts, who spend intense periods of time giving back themselves via some product or art, are in intense need of help during those times.My short response to this is that part of the problem is how society and popular culture views success which drives people to go past what their actual baseline natural limits and abilities are.  I know of course there are many theories on the reasons for a “PSH” type death both environmental and biological. But if we can believe that certain types of stress and surroundings make certain types of people more likely to use drugs then you have to question the driving force in society that makes some of these types of events happen. Used to be called “if you can’t take the heat get out of the kitchen”. Not everyone is able to handle the rigors of being secretary of state even if intellectually they can (to quote Dirty Harry again “a man has to know his limitations”). Had a real estate salesperson actually say to me the other day something like “are you ready to step up to the big leagues!!!” when pitching a deal. I can imagine that there are people who would actually get sucked in by someone saying something like that and then make a potentially risky move with dire results and consequences. All because they didn’t want to be viewed with lack of admiration by peers or business contacts.
LE, I don’t know the details leading up to Hoffman’s death, and addiction is certainly a powerful draw for those who have a bent towards it. Anxiety, depression and what Jerry calls “the roller coaster of entrepreneurship” are tough enough minus the substances.
.Everyone needs social activity that both supports and diverts from one’s current core interest.Desperately.This is why a place like AVC.com can be so powerful. It provides that outlet.JLM.
The inward outlet, the outward outlet, the other outlets, all hopefully help one avoid the addiction outlet, and the final outlet. The final outlet is tough for those who are truly not managing. I have been involved with several suicidal friends, super talented. As the pain of managing becomes unbearable, suicide morphs into a pornographic fantasy of life without pain. I have a friend who is close to this ledge for over a year now. I talked someone off the ledge years ago.We need to be seen and loved for who we are, not what others want us to be, and brave enough to be seen.
oooh – i think i should do this……gonna ask rich about it on thursday.
Good news! Silicon Valley Bank will be giving one lucky NYC founder $5K to attend Jerry Calonna’s upcoming bootcamp. Besides being selected to the bootcamp, you must have raised less than $500k.