The #LinkyBrains Mafia — my Journey and Confession

Cycling btw Rome and Florence with Doug and Alex last Summer and a bunch of great mates was the first time I heard the term #LinkyBrains

Alex had this notion that there are people out there who, like me and him, are able to make sense of completely random data points and situations and apply them to completely unrelated scenarios. They LEAP. I said “well for me that’s just being Strategic” and he said “no its not its LinkyBrain. You have a LinkyBrain”.

Two weeks ago I ran a 3 day off-Site & the agenda was highly simplified — “How are we going to transform over the next 15 years — tech, investing, talent as an asset class, founder experience and every partners 15 year horizon”. My brain was wide open — aging body but teenage mind.

One week after my return Doug posted his #LinkyBrain confession on the Friday and all hell broke loose — http://www.droug.co.uk/month1-life-jim-not-know/

We created the #LinkyBrain Mafia Underboss coms channel — invite only. We don’t know how you get in but you have to be an Underboss and you need to be invited. We’ll figure it out.

By the Monday I had my first meeting, dozens of meet ups were self- generating all over the world in just a few days, several happening as I type.

Tuesday Mike joined the Mafia — he’s the Rockstar I’ve never spoken to or met him. He gets shit done. A favourite trait.

In four days the confession are coming in thick and fast. Here is my Confession:

I have a huge hunger for other people’s success and this is what drives me — binds my north star. People fascinate me but their ability to be successful? That’s magical.

This is my addiction. It’s the dopamine hit that only lasts a short period of time. Quarterly Sprints work for me as building companies is my thing

I need to do this in such a way that I wander and enjoy the surrounding environment NOT drown and lose the will to live. I burn out.

So Notion is my way of life & enables me. Its where I express myself.

As my Partner Jos says — “I want to build fucking big companies with very special people” — plain and simple but its v v hard. I love that its hard and even terrible at times. It’s meant to be hard and terrible at times.

This is no place for people with #BrittleSpirit — they appear to be contagious and full of victim syndrome — so avoid them

Companies are where people get bundled up together and in technology it’s a winner takes all game. People can desperately want you to fail! This makes me laugh as it’s so revealing about their true nature

You either create the market leader or you’ve missed out — this my VC context, a very high bar and allows my brain to play with many challenging puzzles with awesome people. Really awesome people

People’s success can also be the passion for the mission and small and meaningful — I love that. Not about greatness but about what you love. But not a VC. Its BIG or DEAD.

I prefer people who have broken out of their #statisticaldestiny — like Doug & I. Stop fcking about and get on with it. If you’ve broken out then you’re in my tribe.

What have I learnt about my LinkyBrain?

1. Its like a Elon M factory full of candyfloss machines — I can circle a problems around my machines and stuff will just stick to the problem seemingly at random but slowly a picture emerges — a hypothesis good or bad, delete, repeat. Magic just happens permanently — no off switch

2. My subconscious appears to be overactive. I wake up between 3.30am and 5.30am every morning depending on how stressed with either random creations or problem fixes. I have a technique to purge the noise.

3. I like to purge. LinkyBrains who can’t purge have #LeakyBrains — very LeakyBrains are a danger to their host and me. Leave me alone if you have a very LeakyBrain. Bridle the beast

4. I can only think in black and white — I did not realise that it was weird until I was late 20’s. I have no idea what it means

5. I am a mass pragmatist — I can totally understand the opinions of opposing people in conflict. People who can’t be agreeable waste a lot of time.

6. Optionality appears important to me as I like to keep my options open to the last minute. I call it Fergie time.

7. I believe the world is an equal opportunity for very unequal people. Everyone can be successful should they put their mind and back into it. Most don’t

8. I pick up new concepts really quickly but never master any.

9. I love chaos as that’s where the conditions for change with winners and losers rapidly playing out. Losing is good, winning just means you get credit.

10. All news is fake and always has been — I don’t understand the fuss. I have not consumed news for more than 2 years. Its distracting so Its purged.

11. I have not had email on my phone for 3 years — it’s also distracting so its purged

12. I’m proud of my heritage — I am a relatively un-educated working class boy who first cot was a suitcase.

13. When I get beyond 50% of the mental solution then my interest appears to wane. I hire, empower and delegate like my life depends on it. Because it does.

14. I am processing the future and not the now. This can be v irritating for people but its my normal. Its what it can be not what it is. My imagination is how I invest.

15. I demand progress of myself and others but not perfection. Perfection is for mad people.

16. My kind of perfection has flaws and character like my friends

17. As passionate as I engage in the world, the projects and relationships I have always had a detached side. This has been rather encouraged by my love of Buddhist reading.

18. Emotions can be extremely unreliable. If you don’t believe me explain jealousy.

19. When the shit hits the fan my sense of adventure goes wild. I have never quite understood this. I have a low sense of fear and my own mortality.

20. I find painful events very clarifying.

21. I find painful outcomes step change my systems & behaviours for future success. The more mistakes I make the more successful I become.

22. Trending numbers fascinate me — they have momentum, they never sleep, they never stop moving — they’re either step changing in advantages or they’re killing your future.

23. My favourite number is the one a founder tells me that indicates an entire market is fcked — this makes my candyfloss factory goes haywire as the likelihood for rapid disruption is high. Please send me these.

24. I’m not v interested in things. I favour situations, stories & things I can hug. I find it very hard to dislike someone — like nearly impossible. It’s also hard to piss me off.

25. My dirty secret is I’m not that interested in the technology. Lol

26. My super power is a LINKYBRAIN

I’ll leave you with that.