Startup Therapy Podcast

Episode #149


Ryan Rutan: Welcome back to another episode of the startup therapy podcast. This is Ryan. Rutan joined as always by my friend partner, the founder and Ceo of startups dot com, Wil Schroder? Well, we live in a world where transparency has become like a huge thing and and we share and share and share and everybody talks about everything as we transition from being a citizen to being a founder. Is that still true? Like do we still have that same, same ability to just sort of put it all out there?

Wil Schroter: No, I think, I think we learned the hard way that were before. We used to be able to share everything. You know, we like a good example like Ryan, you and I are working at some company, we'd go to lunch and we can kind of bit about the boss, right? And they were just universally accepted that that's what people do and that was fine. Or we could talk about how we're having some problem at home or we hate our job or you name it right? Just talk about everything. Not only that we can then get on social and then broadcast those feelings to the world. Everyone gets a taste of what's on our mind right now, whether they want it or not. So it begins

Ryan Rutan: generally not. But yes,

Wil Schroter: alright, so before we get into this next topic, I just want to let you know what we talk about here is like 1% of the conversation, you know, really this conversation is going on all day long online at groups dot startups dot com where Ryan and I pretty much talk endlessly with founders about every one of these topics. So if by the end of this discussion, you like the topic and you want to dig into it a little bit more with Ryan and I just had two groups dot startups dot com and we'll pick it up from there and then we become a founder. And for the first time we say some dumb sh it in consequences prevail, right? We get an email back from an investor like, hey, what, what exactly did you just post right? Or, or we have an employee pull us aside and like, did you really mean that about our fundraising? And then it starts to permeate all these areas of our life that it didn't use to effect give an example. We're at a cocktail party and it's just friends of ours, right? This, this is not even anybody that's relevant to our business and we're just talking about all the crazy stuff that's happening and how frustrated and freaked out we are. But it just so happens that one of those people at our cocktail party knows a friend of ours that works at the company or the, the spouse of somebody that works at the company and you know what, that's the kind of stuff that gets around and then that person hears it from them and then they start into a slack channel immediately and all that gets rebroadcast over and over and over and we've learned the hard way that now that we're a founder. Every single word that comes out of our mouth has consequences.

Ryan Rutan: Does does yeah. And it's it's a big shift, right? Because and not that our words were completely without consequence before that I don't think that's what we're saying. You can still screw

Wil Schroter: up at the company holiday

Ryan Rutan: Party. Even if you're employed 2,642, you can become ex employee 2,642 really quick depending on on how how poorly you play that situation. But the reverberations and I think the sort of the obvious nature of when we've crossed that line and when we started to create problems for ourselves, for people around us is so much less easy to read write like you sort of know, right? Whoops. I jumped in the punch bowl again this year. Bad. Right? But like you said, you know, making what may feel like a fairly innocuous or insulated comment, right? So you know, two different sides. They're one, you know where you just really don't see how this could be misinterpreted. But it is the other one where you feel like you're in a relative safe space I. E. At this party with just friends and so therefore you can be open and it turns out that night of those things was true. So I think it just gets harder and harder and harder to know when and where we can lay it out with like that full brutal honesty that we both talked about. We need to have to write, not, not just from a transparency for everybody else's perspective and everybody else's sake, but for our own right as founders, we do need somewhere to be able to do this stuff, but sort of randomly without thought and anywhere on social media probably isn't the obvious correct answer is it? But

Wil Schroter: you know, it's funny you should say that because the whole thing has been about transparency. We talked about it on the show, right? We talked about, hey, we should bottle this stuff up, but now we should talk about it. We should express this stuff, we should be open about it. And this is where it gets a little bit funky where people hear that and they say, oh cool, okay, that's, you know, that's the keys to the castle. I'm just gonna go running and spout out everything and that's it in my mouth. You can, you can say it like you said, you could hop on social and say whatever you want as hundreds of millions of people, billions of people have chosen to do whatever we have to think three steps ahead of this stuff. Right? So for example, we Ryan you and I talked about mental health among founders all the time and it's practically the name of the show and we talked about how if things are bothering you, you can't keep it built up, you know, you have to be able to get it out there, you have to explain to others what's on your mind. But unfortunately, we've kind of, the world has developed to a point where people feel like what's on my mind is now a social topic meaning a public topic, right? And it's, if you're a founder is sort of not anymore, no, you see some founders, they hop on, on twitter and they say anything that comes to mind, right? It doesn't always work out so well, does not always always go in their favor because every time we think about how we're going to express ourselves, what we've got to think about is who's affected and a lot of us can't think like that for us because we haven't done that in the past, but now we've got to think for 200 people in an organization brian you and I, you know, when something is bothering us, it's not as simple as oh my God, you know, I don't know if I want to do this anymore. Kind of 200 people on their, on their payroll are kind of hoping that that's not the case. So, so things have changed and I think as founders, a big part of this is stepping back and saying, oh ship, like I've got a whole new game plan and what I'm allowed to say, I think it's hard hard for people to come by, hard to make that transition.

Ryan Rutan: It is, it is, you know, I think that and it's again like not always obvious when and where these situations exist and what is okay and what's not personal example, right? Like, and I think we've, we've touched on this before, but for example, like spouse, right? Like I thought I can say anything and there will be no negative consequence to any of this by talking to my spouse about this stuff, right? And what I realized was there wasn't truly a negative consequence to me, but I have scared her multiple times in the past, right? Where all of a sudden it's like the things that I'm saying, you know, put fear in in her mind and sometimes on my behalf, right? Just like you know, I say something like, you know, I'm afraid this is running into the ground and now she's afraid this is running into the ground. Now she's stressed out and trying to watch and make sure that I'm taking care of myself when it probably wasn't nearly as serious as I made it sound, it was taken out of context or set out of anger or just frustration or whatever. And now all of a sudden it's become a thing with a life of its own, where had I said that to, you know at her to a different different point in time or had I had I couched it slightly differently or given more context to it. But you know, this is the, this is part of the problem, right? How do we maintain this level of vigilance around what we're saying, who were saying it too and and still be able to share what we need to share and still have some shred of humanity in this communication, right? Because if we become purely analytical about everything we're saying, we treat all interpersonal communications like it's part of some strategic chess match that involves the company and to some degree it does not saying it doesn't, but how do we do that while still maintaining like some of this humanity, this safe space that we need, how does that work as a founder? How do we create that?

Wil Schroter: Well, I think a big part of it, you know, for me as I evolved as a founder, it took me a really long time to understand that my personal life, my personal thoughts, et cetera. We're not for public consumption within the company that every decision I made or every every way that I felt had real consequence to other people, right? And, and I Ryan, I, I wish I could say I was more empathetic I guess or I had thought through it more, but when I look back at all of the things that I did the way that I behaved and what people's reactions were Right, I'm going back 10 2030 years. It was awful. I was so bad at it. I had this instance, this is one instance where we just raised a seed round of capital, um, from some fairly prominent investors and I thought it was a good idea to write a blog post about. And I wrote the blog post and it was basically was to this tune. It was, It's 2007. Everyone's complaining about not being able to raise capital, not true. We were able to raise capital from this company, this company, this company, this company in a matter of a couple of weeks and I'm some idiot that just showed up in L. A. And my intent of it was every other founder jump jump in and enjoy this train because it's great. And I'll never forget. My investors pulled me aside. It was specifically Mark Suster who has a very strong voice on things. Mark pulled me aside. It was like a parent like basically scolding his son and he was like, whatever you're thinking. And I was like, what are you talking about, Mark? The whole thing is you and I are trying to like make L. A. This cauldron of success and startups. He's like, no, he's like all those other founders are out there. All those other investors are out there struggling to try to raise capital to try to fund these companies and you made it sound like you just threw up three point shot from, from half court with your eyes closed, right? He's like, now everyone wants you to fail. Remember him saying that specifically is like now everyone wants you to fail because you sound like you're a chest pounder, right? And instead of giving the company a positive image of how you're trying to grow, you made it sound like, you know, you're this big ship and you deserve it,

Ryan Rutan: which wasn't your intention, right? You were trying, you were trying to motivate people, you were trying to tell people look, you can do this, join us, join in and instead, yeah, it's amazing. And how quickly and without any effort on your part that can turn into something completely different.

Wil Schroter: It was really different. And here's the thing if I go back and and I said, okay, did I need to write that blog post even though my intentions were right, it would've been a cool move, Send it to mark 1st. Hey mark, what do you think of this before I send it out right, or another one would have been show it to anybody. That's not me. Right, find out that gets some sort of test the waters a little bit right? Like now when when we do something major within the company, you me Eliott, other members of the management team, we talked about it alright. We kind of say, hey, am I the only person thinking this way right? And, and, and, and often I am and I need to be kind of reeled in and I think what I've come to learn over the years and kind of why we're covering this is that not everybody just shows up one day. They understand all the consequences. They understand how things have changed etcetera. And in some cases they can make a major major miss without understanding this. And I think it's a huge issue.

Ryan Rutan: Yeah. And I think that's that's often the case, right? It is usually an unintentional miss, right? It's very rare that like we threw something out and we're like, well that became very inflammatory and that was my intention. Like sometimes we do this, sometimes we want to stir the pot, but most of the time it isn't even a stirring the pot post or you know, a declaration that ends up causing trouble. It was something that was either well intended or just no intent whatsoever. Just some neutral thing that we decided to do, give you an example and this was, it was didn't turn anything major.

Wil Schroter: But I realized

Ryan Rutan: after I did it, what I had done yesterday, I the the the nation observed martin Luther king Jr day and just out of habit and just out of like, I don't know, I communicate with our team a lot. I jumped on our slack and just said good morning to the team. Alright, now here's the thing. I didn't mean good morning, everybody check and I'm just like, if anybody's on like, here's a good morning, right? I happened to be on. And so it begins and so it begins, right? Didn't didn't occur to me that that might be a signal that everybody's like, oh, do we need to be on within eight minutes? It had devolved into several conversations around, are we actually out of the office today? Because Ryan's good morning people, right? And like, it didn't even occur to me, didn't occur to me at all that that could potentially happen right and important, that I just clean it up quickly. But it's one of those, it's one of those non obvious situations where you just don't think about the window where and then how it can be misconstrued or construed wasn't misconstrued, like that was that was a logical conclusion to draw, like, oh, he's on, he's welcoming us like he does every day of the week when we're actually working same message, maybe same intents and am I supposed to post up now and get ready to work? What's going on? So it's just, it's so so easy to run afoul of these things and again, like that didn't create any sort of major ruckus, but the potential is always there. It is, it's and that's the thing, it's so fast, right within minutes it became apparent that I had, I had run afoul of my own communication plan, right?

Wil Schroter: I think it's also worth noting, and I don't just put this in the example you gave, but I think it's also worth noting that we kind of assume that will be given the benefit of the doubt in life. We like, we like to believe that we'd like to be able to say, hey, if I do something wrong or in there, your case didn't do anything wrong, you actually didn't do something wrong, but it was received the wrong way, right? There's a bit of a difference all the same. We assume people give us the better for the doubt. Not true in more cases than not, it's, you're, you're guilty and probably never proven innocent later, right?

Ryan Rutan: Yeah. That changes when you become a founder, you go from getting the benefit of the doubt to just having the benefit of doubts.

Wil Schroter: Yes.

Ryan Rutan: We just get lots of doubts. Like we can doubt almost everything we do. Yeah, yeah. You don't, you don't get the benefit of anywhere.

Wil Schroter: I watched this now happen on twitter all the time, all the time where I watch folks post something and sometimes I know they're trying to be inflammatory just to kind of get a reaction. A lot of times. I'll see people post something with the intent that, that they're trying to be helpful or trying to express a point of view And they get the Twitter mafia all over them right and they just get buried. Remember it's a one to many conversation, but it also it's a many to one conversation, which you can't stop with their 6000 comments, you're not going to respond to all of these and make things right. You know, by the way, I just want to mention if what we're talking about today sounds like the kind of discussion you wish you were having more often, you actually can, you know, we're online all day everyday, working through exactly these types of topics with founders, just like you. So any question you would have or maybe some problem you just want to work through, we're here and we love this stuff and we're easy to find, you know, head over to groups dot startups dot com and let's just start talking. So what ends up happening is the first few times we do something again, You know, we get a little bit of pushback on something and we start to realize that we kind of have to really put thought into everything. We say everything we can do. We also realize that there's a lot of things that we wouldn't have thought of before that are kind of off limits Now. I'll give an example. Years ago during my first company company had gotten pretty big in size and we had our holiday party and I didn't think much of it. Everyone was bringing a date. This is long since before I met my wife and I brought a date. Funny side note and Ryan, I wonder if you remember her, she wanna show on tv called the Rock of Love with bret Michaels, It was heather, right? And heather and I have been friends for a long time. She was tons of fun, but she's kind of a wild personality, right? A little bit, see the list and which is why she want to show a reality show right,

Ryan Rutan: saying the least is probably the best policy. I'm

Wil Schroter: not trying to speak ill of her. Let's just say that that she stood out more than a little bit at the holiday party with hundreds and hundreds of other people bringing their spouses who many were married, but all were on the payroll meaning this was the wife's husband, whatever spouses first impression of the ceo and what kind of person they might be and it was not a good impression, right? I didn't think through it. I just thought like we're showing up at a party heather's friend of mine, whatever, right? Did not think through it.

Ryan Rutan: Boy did that

Wil Schroter: cause waves Now, every single person that worked with me had to come up to me later, if not during the party then, you know, days later be like, you know, my wife was kind of wondering like what's the situation there, is that like somebody like you're dating like, is that like, and I was like, wow, this is a huge issue. It is one of those things where I didn't think my personal life had any meaningful, like something so simple, like with who I might might bring to a party had any meaningful relation to who I worked with and holy cow it did because for the spouses that was often the one time they got an impression of Who the person they were working for with it. And I told you this before, it wasn't an easy situation to begin with because I looked like I was 12. So you know, so in an era where that wasn't cool yet and so it was bad enough that the husband, let's say in this case was to bring his wife and he would introduce her to me and she would pull him aside later and I heard about this and be like, that's who's paying for our kid's college tuition and her husband, like I tried to explain it to you, why you had to see it for yourself, right. I was a sideshow. I just took it up a notch. I mean it that much worse and I didn't realize again self awareness and everything else. I didn't realize how much consequence all of my actions had and now that we had lots and lots and lots and lots of people working there. What a problem that was.

Ryan Rutan: Yeah. And again, to your point, you know, the folks who work directly with you and for you probably had a little bit more ammunition to give you the benefit of the doubt, right? But the spouses who show up once, right? And I've only seen you that time, right? They don't have anything else to go on. Right? So, and the same thing. And even more so potentially when we get out to social media where the only thing they're reacting to is that one thing that you said, right? They've got one sentence and that's all that they have to respond to.

Wil Schroter: I want to build on that a little bit because Ryan, you said something really, really important. That's all they have to go on. See now when we were right and you and I are working together in a company and we know each other. There's a handful of other people we work with and we kind of know them and kind of our friends, whatever we all kind of know each other. Right? So when I do something stupid, you're like, oh, that's just, well, that's what he does or or that's out of character. Yeah, sure.

Ryan Rutan: Right. Either way, like there's some, there's something, there's some way that you can reflect on that and say I have some understanding for for why this happened or I have some reason to sort of let it slide. Right.

Wil Schroter: Right now, all of a sudden we have all of these entities in our life that don't have that backstory that don't like we said had the benefit of the doubt, but, but we're responsible for. And now I'm gonna, I'm gonna project it out a bit, not just to our our staff, I'm gonna talk to investors. I'm gonna talk to customers right customers see like wait he's posting what? On social media? Okay. Like that's that's a little bit off. I watched this happen. We've referenced this before when Jason frieden, David, Hannah, Meyer Hanson had that infamous post will now be a year ago where they basically said no one gets to have any kind of political discussion. I don't want to overstate what we said. But like trust me it's not hard to find. They basically said we don't want any kind of social societal and or political conversations happening on our exchanges within the company. And not only did they say it at the worst time given where the U. S. Was at the time but it sounded incredibly insensitive and because they have such a big voice across so many people, it hit everyone over the head at the worst possible time and it went ballistic. It got

Ryan Rutan: it got amplified and then it got well outside of so I think that

Wil Schroter: oh yeah

Ryan Rutan: let's follow through on this. They said yes. So within their core audience, I think there was a lot of shock and dismay still because it sounded a lot like censorship and not much else right? It was like even for those of us who are like, you know we really respect the company. Really respect the founder. We like the team and yet we're having a hard time understanding like what do they mean by this? Right? What what? Because we've gotten used to them being thought leaders in a lot of, in a lot of ways. And so it's like, okay, I'm trying to unwind this and make sense of it for myself, for the company for just generally. And there was enough of a discussion amongst that core group of people who probably would have been willing to at least not overreact to it, but then it started to creep outside that and outside that. And we got further away from people who could give them some potential benefit of the doubt. And the thing just got amplified 2 - 10, right? And now it was being heard by people who didn't care, didn't know had no context other than what was being said. And that's when it went completely off the rails. Right? And so we have no control over that. Once we put it out there, it's out there.

Wil Schroter: You now have consequences that affect orders of magnitude more people than you've ever affected before. And now those consequences multiply Because that gets retweeted right? Or one customer says through word of mouth, don't ever use that that company and 10 people that you never met, never used you. It all amplifies. I think that from a founder standpoint, it's really hard on us because on the one hand, we want to be expressive. We want to be able to talk about what's on our mind. Everybody else seems to everything else seems to be able to do it just fine. Right. We want to be able to talk about maybe our political views or our religious views or you know, you name it and it's, and what we're saying here is that you're not allowed to talk about those things. You know, you're, you're, you're grown as adults. You talk about what you want, what we're saying is when you do, you got to know that these things are going to have real consequences and if you don't consider those consequences ahead of time. But later on you're shocked by them. Like again, I post something and talking about how easy it is to raise capital, best intentions in the world I did not see the perspective that Mark came back to me and presented.

Ryan Rutan: It wasn't like you pushed published and they were like, I'm going to brace myself now for impact right? Like I know what's coming, You didn't write totally off guard.

Wil Schroter: I just didn't know. And so one of the things that as we're talking about, well what can we do? How do we deal with this? one of the things that I can't emphasize enough is asking someone else should I say or do this now, that's not getting permission. It's getting a perspective. And at which point I say, Hey Ryan, I'm thinking about publishing this on our site and our blog, whatever, What do you think? Let me copy

Ryan Rutan: paste my standard response to that. Well,

Wil Schroter: hang on a second, you're like, look, man, you can do what you want. But I'd recommend you didn't want this because it's a bad idea. You're

Ryan Rutan: gonna use your name.

Wil Schroter: And I've seen time and time again. What I call the jerry Maguire moment, do you remember at the beginning of jerry Maguire, right? The whole thing starts where tom cruise has this brainstorm about how the company can act differently. And back then, you know, email and slack didn't exist. So he actually asked the photocopies, he's got this dramatic montage of him making photocopies at like three a.m. For

Ryan Rutan: everybody and putting on every

Wil Schroter: desk, which makes for great theater, it would have been a good idea for jerry to maybe not have published that or, you know, send it to bob sugar. The fact that I remember who that is, you know, say bob, what do you think about this and how bob go? You know, that scary harry. That might not have been a good idea. I think we don't do this. We don't have this natural check valve because up until now we haven't faced the consequences of what happens when you don't use it. That's pretty dangerous.

Ryan Rutan: I think we're in agreement here for sure. And, you know, if you haven't been through this yet, you'll agree with us someday when this blows back on you,

Wil Schroter: it only needs to happen once. Let's

Ryan Rutan: hope that you can hear some of this. And and uh and and learn from some of our mistakes ahead of time. But well why don't we when we talk a little bit about what what can we do? Right? Like? So because It isn't the case, we can just bottle this up and stuff it down. We've we've spent the other 150 episodes talking about not doing exactly that. So how do we do this? So obviously, you know, being aware of how things can be construed but recognizing. And we've we've talked about a couple of situations today, both your email or sorry, your blog post, my my my doomed slack message. Neither of those even had I analyzed it further, I probably wouldn't have seen that was going to go wrong. So like you said, we can share this with the people, but what else do we do? Right. So once we find out like, no, maybe this is something that you you shouldn't share with the entire globe, Let's let's let's deal with this in a more private way. What do we do? Where where does this go? You know, I talked about the fact that I can't even always share, you know, just kind of verbatim, you know, 1 to 1. What's in my heart and mind with with my wife. Right? So what do we do? How do we cultivate a network lets us do this?

Wil Schroter: I consider it like the mental imagery the metaphor that I use our rooms in certain rooms where there's certain things that are appropriate. Right? And I picture who would be in that room. Right. And so as you mentioned there's a room that my wife's in and I just share the same stuff but there's rooms that she's nodded and not because I'm trying to keep something back from her but it's kind of two different things and I've talked to her endlessly about this so she understands it. The first room is this is stuff honestly I could get you all worked up about it. It won't help me. It's actually not going to help you and there's nothing nothing good is going to get added. For example if if Ryan if you and I are having a real problem with some someone at the company I can talk to Sarah about it. My wife I can talk to Sarah about it. I already know what she's gonna say. Fire them and her answer to everything is firing them right? She comes out of HR so she always has one answer but erin has always fire them and already know what that answer is going to be and I appreciate and respect the fact that she gives it. However it's not helping her. It's not helping me and the consequence would be if we don't agree and now I spin up an argument over dinner you know with my wife about something that she didn't even care about.

Ryan Rutan: Right? I take

Wil Schroter: that problem out of that room. I have other rooms, right? Which let's say have our staff and there's certain things that I really feel like they need to know, but I'm really mindful, whereas before I would just throw everything in that room, everyone would be better for the doubt right now. I don't, and again, it's not that I'm trying to hold things back from them. I'm trying to be mindful of what they're willing to process, right? So if I say, and we've talked about this, you know, recently I'm super burnt out. I don't know how much longer I can do this. That might not be a topic for that room. Why? Because everyone in that room doesn't have the benefit of knowing me well, right? They don't have the benefit of knowing all the ups and downs that I've been going through in life Or how I've said this 20 times before for 20 years and kind of always come back to the same place. They just here. Oh ship. One of the guys that's responsible for my paycheck. Sounds like he's checking out. That's all that's all they process.

Ryan Rutan: Is he living the checkbook behind.

Wil Schroter: So that topic doesn't get played in that room. And so again, sticking with this metaphor. I have certain things that I talked specifically to other founders about and really I would say if I'm really thinking through it. I just had a lunch with the founders. I'm trying to think of what would have been, you know, kind of out of bounds. Not much, I would say I probably have more agency to talk about every aspect of my life with other founders, because I trust them, that's a big part of it, but also because I know they have nowhere to take it, that's going to create consequences. Does that make sense? Yeah,

Ryan Rutan: it does. I I had one and an additional layer to that, which is they also understand the consequences of that communication in the same way that we do right? To the extent that any of us do right, that they will at least understand, like, you know, there's a reason this is being shared here, and now we understand that we have so few avenues for sharing some of the deeply personal stuff, the highly troubling things, you know, the really stressful stuff and and we can be there for each other in that regard, just sort of, knowing that they didn't need feedback necessarily, they just need somebody to say it to who will have some level of understanding of the context, you know, as you were, as you were going through your different rooms analogy. I kept thinking it's it's a bit like security clearance, right? There's a reason, there's a reason certain people have a certain level of security clearance and others don't, right? And and it's and it's for everyone's benefit, right? And so, you know, when we share with people who have that same security clearance level, they understand the power that information wields, they understand why it needs to be discussed. Um, and they understand why it needs to remain private. And I think that's, that's something that you do. Like you said, founder, founder, you'll find that I do have a couple of really close personal friends who are as far from the startup space as they could possibly be, who I can also do that with knowing that they don't care about any of it other than how it impacts me right there. There's zero bone to pick. There's nothing to be gained by them going out and saying, oh, hey, you know, I, I heard heard this, it's not going on social media, it's not going to any of our other friends. It's just somebody that I can share it with, who, you know, they're, they're intelligent people. They they're insightful people, they're empathetic people. And so I get what I need and I don't get any of the potential harmful side effects of having that get kicked around the globe on social media or, you know, just even with the, within the staff structure or wherever that it can potentially take on a life other than the one I intended for it,

Wil Schroter: which is usually

Ryan Rutan: fairly short lived.

Wil Schroter: I tend to find that in the past over the years, I've had a thing where when I was frustrated something happening with the company, I just assumed everyone wanted to hear it turns out, they sort of don't, here's what I learned. I learned that when I'm frustrated, no matter what it is, if it's within an individual, if it's an outside situation, etcetera, best case, if I go to the room where everybody's in it, I piss off frustrated everybody and, and more importantly, this is the biggest one and distract everybody. Here's what happens. I jump in. I'm all fired up. I go to, you know, our, our online room would be an equivalent slack channel and I say, oh my God, I can't believe this happened. I'm so frustrated, blah blah. And I bet, cool. I feel 1% better. guess what happens now. There's 500 slack chats that get spun up to basically dissect and talk about what I just said. By the way, none of my favor. You know, they never turned into a man. I can't say enough good things about will. It's just the worst of

Ryan Rutan: yeah, yeah, you're right

Wil Schroter: to get my little bit of validation of satisfaction. I've now derailed the entire company and I've created yet another level of either distrust or, or frustration or you name it with me and to some degree with the company. I didn't used to understand that. I didn't understand that not everybody, you know, needed to be in the same room at the same time. And so now when I'm frustrated with something and it's all the time because of my anxiety, not what anybody's doing. Everybody's actually doing a pretty good job. I'm very mindful about where and how I express it With with one exception, right? I do express it. I don't hold it in. Yeah. I just got to be really careful where I share it. We

Ryan Rutan: do. You know, it's funny, I'm quoting my dad in a couple episodes. It's probably time and I think I've used this one before, but in a different context and its communication is the burden of the center. I don't know how many times I heard that growing up and in this case, what would I would I typically take that to mean and where I typically apply this is it's my job to make sure that the person I'm communicating with understands this in the way that I need and want them to write that's incumbent on me, not the person hearing information, but in the context of today's conversation. It also brings up an entirely uh another aspect of that, which is do I need to be communicating this at all? Right? That's my burden. Because once I decide to it's now everyone's burden and it's out of my control, right? And I think that that's where this can this can really go off the rails to your point, right? Like nobody wanted to know about it. Nobody needed to know about it until someone else knew about it now, everybody has to know about it, right? This is the way this goes right now. Well, so and so knows, you know, you know jane and in in finance knows and joe and HR knows so therefore you know, I got to know to write and then this is where the rumor mill kicks up the discussions kick off. Uh and this thing just goes haywire. Alright. So I think as we are thinking about these things, It's often, you know, it's it's sparked off of something that you said, I feel 1% better, right? Had you thought about it and you were like, my objective here is to say something and to feel better if you had said like I'm gonna feel 1% better after this and here's the potential risk, would you have done that? Would you have communicated it? Probably not. Alright. So I think being really clear around what it is, we're trying to communicate and why and does this actually have a purpose either you know, for my own well being or for that, of the understanding that people around me and if not, you know, save it right? Or like you said share it with one person,

Wil Schroter: right? Build those other rooms. I mean that when when we launched the founder groups over a year ago, that was specifically what we did, we said, here's a room where you can talk about all this sh it that you can't otherwise talk about and people did for just that reason, because we're all in the same boat where we realize that all this stuff has consequences for the first time in most cases were a major consequence, an exponential consequence. And we're getting tired of bottling it all in and we want to talk to other people about it. And it just so happens because of where we're at in life and kind of what we're doing, A room full of founders is actually the best remedy. And often their founders, we don't know. So, again, they're not connected back to anything that would would cause us harm and they understand the whole point of this, which is to keep it quiet, right? They don't want you sharing what they're saying and you don't want to share what you're saying. And I think that that mutual respect, it pays off. And I think it's kind of what, what bonds people, but I think it's what a lot of founders are missing.

Ryan Rutan: I think so too. You know, I had a founder summed this up really nicely earlier in the week. He said, man, I've never had a place where I felt like I could just like, be that honest about what's going on inside the company and I did a horrible job of it. And it made me feel really terrible to say it all. And then it made me feel really good that I had said it. That's

Wil Schroter: it, right,

Ryan Rutan: That's it. That is the essence of this thing, right? I thought it was just so, so, so perfectly poorly put, right? It was, it was exactly exactly what that represents, right? Like because a lot of times we, we never have right, we haven't had that chance. We haven't felt like we could do that without the consequences. Like in these cases where we do know, like I can't just go and tell this to anybody, this has to be a really specific audience when you do finally come across that audience and you have it and you can make that share and you can feel bad about it, right? Because it is something bad, it is something negative that you've got to get off your chest and then you have that opportunity and you take it, it feels really amazing.

Wil Schroter: Alright, so that was fun, but let's actually keep this conversation going. You've heard what we think about this, but you know, Ryan and I would really like to hear what you think and we're online, like all day long, pretty much talking about every startup topic you could think of from fundraising the customer acquisition to just really have to get all of this crazy startup stuff out of your head and there's tons of other founders, just like you, they're weighing in on these topics, so you'll get a chance to just hang out and meet some really smart founders were also super, super easy to find you head over to groups dot startups dot com and let Ryan and I hear what's on your mind. Let's get to know each other a little bit and let's just start having more of these conversations.

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