Putting It Out There

November 4th, 2013

As my first topical post, I decided to tackle something that for me is quite difficult. The idea of putting something out there is frightening. After all, once you put something out there, it’s open for critique. Critique inevitably means listening to all about how you did something wrong, sprinkled with maybe a dash of how you did something right. Mostly the wrong though.

“If there is no struggle, there is no progress.” -Frederick Douglass

It’s fairly easy to create within the bubble of privacy. The problem is that your growth will be stifled by that very bubble. So why place yourself in that bubble? The answer is usually fear. I often struggle with fear. Fear tends to create an infinite loop that usually leads to a lockup. Lockups are never good and because of that it’s important to think about fear and what it really means. Once you do that, you can break the loop then hopefully exit the bubble and move on.

Fear really just comes from a lack of knowledge. A buildup of energy in the form of anxiety that is used to either fight if we have the ability to vanquish the “threat” or to flee if we don’t. I use the term threat because this buildup of fear doesn’t have too many common day analogous examples for the developer except perhaps the threat of being electrocuted by your computer. It seems strange to think about it in such a benign way especially when we’ve all experienced fear, and we all know how real it can feel.

if( new  ) {
    state = 'fear';
} else {
    state = 'whatevs';
}

Let me elaborate on the lack of knowledge bit. A lot of CEO’s/Entrepreneurs/Executives etc talk about the anxiety/the fear/the excitement that they get when launching a new product or developing a new market. No matter what level of success, if this “NEW” deals with an unknown, then you can bet there is fear involved. After all, the converse is true. Think about your first day of work at a new job. Imagine the anxiety you might have felt. Now think about that same job a couple years, or even months in. Most often, once the new is dealt with, the fear goes away. The knowledge of having done it is there. Therefore approaching that same situation is a lot different.

Expect fear

A simple lesson can be learned from all this. If you’re constantly pushing the boundaries of what you can do, expect fear. If you learn to expect fear, you can learn to manage it. Something as simple as acknowledging the fear and knowing to push through it can make for a very good break from the loop. Dealing with fear may be a struggle, but it can also be progress.

So, this is now out there.

Keep the party goin'

A while back, my partner and I were given work space at a local incubator/accelerator. The environment was upbeat and everyone was pretty open about what they were working o…

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