michael's update #6
here’s a seasonal update with three things:
1. one update in startup life: founder dojo learnings for season 1 launch.
2. one personal musing: we got neighbors to line dance, and it worked…too well.
3. a menu of recent miscellenaous things in case you missed it.
my goal is clarity in sharing updates as well as filtering for the most important. i like a menu format so if you’re curious for more, then i linked to other writings.
1. startup life: founder dojo learnings for season 1 launch
this season, i went back to basics focused on learning from + building directly for founders. after talking to 87 early stage founders and testing dozens of 1-1 and 1-many founder coaching experiences, my top 3 insights are:
founders identify, and ultimately connect, more with those at similar stage and difficulty of problem. season 1 explores climate tech as a focus to filter those two.
founder to founder learnings accelerate from those who are 1-2 steps ahead. this will be front and center when designing group sessions, like live case studies.
there is no place founders can go for no b.s. feedback or to meet other founders. i feel like this may be too simple of an insight, but i’m curious test how far putting founders first will go.
season 0 was fun to experiment with individual one off experiences, and now i’m packaging it into 🌎 launching season 1 for climate tech founders.🌎
^ feel free to forward to any early stage founder in climate tech you think may enjoy.
if you're curious, a few more written updates from working on a startup:
first time i got fired. spoiler, it was a net positive outcomes for everyone.
full recap of season 0. reflecting on individual experiments.
month 1: how not to find a co-founder. i’m learning and switching things up.
2. musing from personal life: we got neighbors to line dance, and it worked—too well.
every month, i host a block party for neighbors to meaningfully connect. slow street weekends enable a front yard in the mission to gather with no cars.
this last one, i collaborated with nicole. she picked one of her favorite things, country music, to pair with another one of her favorites, line dancing.
rough start. as i don’t generally like country music, well, because we’re not in the country. we’re in a city. i also don’t know how to line dance.
nevertheless, country music played on the soundboks, and two line dances later, everyone loved it. it was so easy to follow when somene leads, making it a perfect pop up activity for the street. you can stay and hang out as long as you want or enjoy one dance and move one.
if you're curious, a few more highlights in community building:
biotech x hardtech zero proof happy hour made some founders very happy
deep tech book circle, a fun way to discuss different ideas based on what’s open
super extra fancy art show, i helped cole host his largest exhibit yet
3. a menu of other recent things icymi
writing 2022 technical reviews for brain computer interfaces, cancer research, and fusion (linked above). fun weekend rabbit holes to catch up in different spaces.
reflecting on living 1 year in sf, a set of love letters to the city as i decide to live here for another year
2/4 - one thing i noticed is the city welcomes people’s fully authentic self
3 + 4 are drafts now (challenges the city faces and vision for new year in the city, what if it was more like a campus?)
high standards everywhere. ‘once high standards are on, and they can't be selectively turned off,’ especially when building something new.
i liked these three lessons that gene (ceo of sila) shared at the mit tough tech summit. my favorite was “building is less about the technology and more about the process of self discovery.” as the process of tackling problems and scaling challenges the personal growth of a founder.
small step for the season, big win for next year, financial flexibility = ability to build freely.
thank you for your continued support in reading this and staying up to date on my journey. i appreciate the meaningful relationships and support i’ve gotten along the way.
if there is any way i can help you, be it feedback on a project, a catch up conversation to connect, or an intro i’m able to make, please let me know.
🌊 moving forward like water,
ps. for the post credit reel, my favorite recipe this season was cast iron seared soups. first, brown veggies of choice in cast iron. second, steep with broth of choice. third, blend.
the flavor is full from the carmelization in the cast iron and hearty. try a sweet potato, turnip, carrot combo with ginger, nutmeg, and miso.