I’m having trouble finding satisfaction in saying, “we’re getting closer every day,” yet I often find myself repeating it when asked how we’re doing at Big Machine.
It’s a true statement, we are getting closer every day, but I can’t help but think we could be going faster. Patience, one of my investors recently said, is the most overrated of virtues. Push yourself, push your team, push everyone associated with Big Machine to exceed their perception of “time required.”
This is on my mind as I walk into a meeting with the development team. Almost as soon as I sit down, I’m handed a binder with our logo on the cover. It’s crammed full of the planning we’ve done over the last quarter: competitive audit, site map, desktop and mobile wireframes. It’s a roadmap to our MVP - a good, but not yet transformative platform that will allow us to measure, learn, and if necessary, diverge on this path of industry reinvention. It feels a lot like accomplishment, because hell, it is accomplishment. January’s edict for first quarter milestones was “go fast now,” “ be aggressive,” “set your hair on fire” and those milestones begin to appear in my mind, like bullets on the page - check, check, check - one-by-one, we’ve done what we said we would do. All of it and even a little “then some.”
Then again, that word: Push.
This startup game has cold nights. You can read about in countless articles or 140 character proclamations and it’s the truth. It’s not brought on by a fear of failure, for me at least, but a fear of pacing, of being too deliberate or too perfect in this build phase of Big Machine. I’m eager to validate, to start the process of learning and becoming the company that I can see, but can’t yet touch. That takes time and effort. Pushing may speed the process, and trust me, we’ll push, but that old school black, three ring binder, reminded me of one simple truth: there is comfort in progress, whether slight or profound.
Not long after that development meeting, binder in tow, I rushed home to pick up my wife and youngest daughter. She was being recognized at school that night as one of the districts Young Author’s and we had important places to be. I walked into that school gymnasium and ran into an old friend. No sooner had we exchanged greetings that he asked “so, how goes Big Machine?” I smiled broad and sincere. This wouldn’t be a cold night.
“We’re getting closer every day.”