This weekend I watched the time management lecture by Randy Pausch, (well known for his terminal condition and his book The Last Lecture). I also read a book by Randy Komisar, The Monk and The Riddle. The two Randys talked about exactly the same thing.
Their core concept is the same, simple and profound – worry about the scarcest and non-reprehensible resource. Time and not money. Both goad us to ask ourselves, ” if I only had a short time to live, would I want to do what I am doing now. Is what I am doing worth my time? What is the opportunity cost?
While Komisar is more holistic in his approach and asks ” if I am doing step-1 because it has to be done so I can get to do step-2, which I love and is really what I want to do for the rest of my life, why? Why not do what I really want to do now? Why wait? Why subscribe to ‘deferred life policy’?”
He talks about ‘drive’ which pushes you to do things you have to do while ‘passion’ pulls you towards things you would rather be doing.
While Komisar simply asked us to imagine our final days, Pausch literally had only few days to live and died recently.
Pausch gives tools and tactics to operationalize this, with specific and tionable and habit forming TODOs.
Together the two tell us to focus on our passion and how we go about achieving it.
Komisar’s book also gives brief insights into how startups and VCs work, how they think about valuation from their perspectives and some funny anecdotes on life in the valley.
Who is a business plan doctor?
Professor Rashi Glazer of UC Berkeley said he has a reputation as a “business plan doctor”. When many of the startups whose business plans get rejected turn to Glazer for help. He described how the typical call would go,
Founders: We heard you are the business plan doctor could you help us?
Glazer: Let me ask you something about your business plan.
You say in your plan you have a great product,
you describe the founders as smart people from Berkeley and Stanford,
in the market section you show hockey stick growth,
and in your competitor section you have three words, There is none.
Founders: (very excited that they got the right guy), Yes on all, so would you help?
Glazer: I just told you what the problem is. Your market description and competitor section do not agree. Any market that is growing at the rate you describe is going to have competitors. Saying there is none convinces the VCs that either you did not do your work or that the market isn’t really there. If you think it is indeed a new product with no competitors think about the substitutes. No one is going to believe you when you say there are no competitors. When there are no competitors there are no customers too.