Throughout the last few years, I’m continuously being reminded of what makes me thoroughly enjoy the jobs that I do. I make a point of surrounding myself with people who are passionate about their work, and about their community. That can be technology, music, photography, or any of an array of different interests that we may share.
This reminds me of what it is that makes me passionate. The ability to continuously stay hungry for something. This is why I wanted to share this to remind everyone here that it is a responsibility of us all, both shared and individually, to make sure that we don’t lose the hunger.
Content over Process
People, process, and technology is the methodology that I ascribe to the successes I’ve found. This quote tells of the importance of how people and our personal aspirations and efforts drive process and technology, not the other way around:
“…people get confused. Companies get confused. When they start getting bigger, they want to replicate their initial success. And a lot of them think, ‘well, somehow there is some magic in the process of how that success was created.’ so they start to try to institutionalize process across the company. And before long, people get very confused that the process is the content.” – Steve Jobs, The Lost Interview (1995)
After moving through a few organizations in the past, I’ve seen this play out. Company culture and personal drive can very easily be affected as we evolve. Growing a business means taking something from an idea to a product, and wrapping a business around it. The important balance of the culture that got you there and the gentle cultural shift needed to operate a growing business is what we often lose.
As a firm believer in the Eric Ries model of being an Intrapraneur (internal staff, entrepreneur focus), I’ve been able to find successes by keeping that hunger to innovate, collaborate, mentor, and grow teams and companies. We do that by reminding ourselves continuously to strive to create content. That is through direct creation ourselves, through collaboration, through interactions, and through learning. It happens every single day. It always should.
This could be a 10,000 word post that talks about the techniques to stay productive, and to always drive and strive for bigger goals. We could talk about the fine art of dancing on the line of burnout, which many are at risk of. Most of all, I just thought about all of the folks that I continue to surround myself with. There is a commonality amongst them all. They create incredible amounts of content, and collaboration. They push themselves hard, and bring others up with them. I hope to do the same every day for myself and for others.
It boils down to this for me: as we evolve in our own personal journeys in technology, community, and life, don’t forget where we came from. Don’t lose the hunger.