Why default-resiliency is not the best option

I watched a recent This Week in Startups episode with Jason Calacanis and Jerry Colonna. It was the first one I’ve ever watched. I was kind of blown away. It was raw, powerful, and authentic. I ended up watching some of it twice. There’s a ton of great conversation in this piece, and one particular topic really stood out to me — the difference between stubbornness and resiliency. Taking a few weeks to internalize the points from that dialogue has been hugely beneficial. I wanted to share my thoughts on it.

In the dialogue, Jerry discusses conflating stubbornness with resiliency…


SHACKLETON’s LIFE BOAT Launch from Elephant Island.

‘What should we tell them?’ How about the truth.

The Endurance expedition, Ernest Shackleton’s attempt to cross Antarctica, is a fascinating story in so many different ways. In December of 1914, Shackleton set out with 28 other men to become the first people to cross the entirety of Antarctica, almost 2000 miles across sea and land. They were not successful, but their failure has become one of the most compelling stories of endurance in modern times.

Shackleton’s ship became stuck in ice less than 2 months after the start of the journey. The crew remained camped out with their ship for over 10 months, waiting for the ice to…


Thoughts on ‘Product strategy means saying NO’

Des Traynor wrote a post recently on how ‘Product strategy means saying NO’ It’s a really great post which enumerates scenarios when you should say no to adding features to your product. As an Engineer, some of these scenarios resonated with me because I’ve been burned by them before.

After sharing the post with friends, I had a thought that continued to surface: I’ve also violated several of these reasons to not add a feature in the past (sometimes reluctantly), and it turned out OK, sometimes great. …


Thoughts on being malleable instead of magnetic

When you step back and look at the concept of advice (particularly unsolicited), it can be a bit unsettling — at the core, advice is someone else telling you what they think you should do.

Does reading the sentence above make you uncomfortable? I know for me it did — it made me feel a bit defensive. When someone gives advice, it’s easy to have a visceral reaction — to decide immediately if the advice is good or bad — to follow it or to not follow it.

But I don’t think advice requires a binary response. If you’re exposed…


Thoughts on doing ‘things about the thing’ instead of the thing itself

Stef’s post, ‘The Little, Big Idea’ really resonated with me. A core theme is: If you have a big idea and you desire to turn that idea into a thing people want, then you need to just get started. Stef says to ‘Do the first, tiny thing.’ — too often people waste their time ‘doing things about the thing. Not the thing itself.’

He’s right. One of the most uncomfortable feelings when you’re working towards a goal is to feel a lack of progress. To avoid this feeling, we often put actions on our to-do list that have certain, objective…


A market in Vietnam

Reflections on a trip to Vietnam

I recently took a three-week trip to Vietnam and Thailand with my wife. It was an incredible, eye-opening experience. Many parts of the trip are worthy of written reflection, but one particular experience continues to surface in my mind. We spent a few days in Hanoi and had great fun exploring the city — winding through streets, eating at food stands, people-watching in the markets, and avoiding waves of motor bikes that never seemed to stop. …

Matt Stockton

Engineering @HarQen / Software engineer / entrepreneur. Interested in technology, running, start-ups, coffee, reading, history, happiness. mattstockton.com

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