Dear Dad,

It happened again. A troubled kid carried out an unthinkable act — killing his classmates and teachers with a weapon of war.

I remember you said, “I won’t vote for them — they’ll take my guns away.” Since I can’t talk to you, I’ve asked many of the people in my life you would trust most about these military-type weapons.

Uncle Bill said no one should need a weapon like the one he carried in Vietnam just to kill a deer. …

“Mama Sue, who you gonna vote for?” I asked my 86-year-old grandmother.

“Trump,” she said, without missing a beat. “I’ve never voted for a Democrat for president, and I’m too old to start now.”

Mama Sue represents generations of Huffstetlers who have worked with their hands for a living. When my grandfather filled out his draft card, he listed “Self Farming’’ as his occupation. A friend who taught me to make a half-Windsor knot jokingly called me “first in your family to tie a tie.” That’s about right.

I can empathize with people who wonder why someone like Mama Sue supports Donald Trump. He divides people into winners and losers. And “You have to be wealthy in order to be great,” he said at a campaign rally in May. …

The importance of scoring interviews during customer development.

I had just completed my 30th demo of our product, and I remember leaving the feedback session on cloud nine. As I wrapped up showing our API to the potential customer, he suggested what we were building was “amazing.” Yes, I thought giddily, this is going to work.

It took me a few minutes to come down from the clouds and realize as a founder, I’d been here before…and while it felt good, it could also be—unfortunately—an indication of nothing.

This phenomenon of euphoria is well documented: business founders see what they want to see, or as Ben & Alistair of Lean Analytics might say, “small lies are essential to company founders.” …


Roger Dean Huffstetler

.@USMC Veteran. @UnivWestGa and @HarvardHBS alum. Worked at @Twilio, founded Zillabyte. Democratic Candidate for Congress in VA-05.

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