Focus on the road, not the wall

“When someone learns to drive a race car, one of the first lessons taught is that when you are going around a curve at 200 mph, do not focus on the wall; focus on the road. If you focus on the wall, you will drive right into it. If you focus on the road, you follow the road. Running a company is like that.”

~ Ben Horowitz, The Hard Thing About Hard Things

It takes a team

“Things derive their being and nature by mutual dependence,
and are nothing in themselves.”


I mentioned earlier that when you’re building a business, you should hire well, and this is true across every aspect of your business. A “secret” that I stumbled onto when I started Mission Data is that you have to be strong everywhere: Marketing, sales, accounting, the service you provide, and you even need to have a good lawyer.

Hire well

“I thought you were a blind dog, but I see you are a keen-eyed lion.”

Zen Master Seung Sahn

One of the most valuable lessons I learned when I created Mission Data was to hire well. Phrases like this have become more popular recently when people learned of the Steve Jobs quote, “A players hire A players, and B players hire C players,” and other similar quotes. Guy Kawasaki, who was there during the early Apple days, expanded on this quote with his own thoughts:

Being a good person is good business

“The best way is to know the strict rules of karma,
and to work on our karma immediately.”

Zen Master Shunryu Suzuki

For anyone who knows me, I'm the high-paid consultant who accidentally unleashed a virus/worm on one of my customer's networks, and wreaked havoc on their business one day. To say the least, it wasn't one of the better days of my consulting life.

How I started a multi-million dollar consulting firm alvin August 1, 2017 - 11:56am

“When it’s time to be a general, be a general.
When it’s time to be a monk, be a monk.”

(Author unknown)

A friend of mine is currently unemployed, and as I've talked to her about ways to approach her situation, I'm reminded of how I started Mission Data.

How I started my consulting career alvin August 1, 2017 - 11:51am

“The beginner’s mind should never be lost.”

Zen Master Shunryu Suzuki

If you're a new consultant thinking about going to work for a small consulting company, I'd like to share what I went through in the first three years of my consulting life, in particular my thought process about the revenue I was trying to generate. Hopefully there are some valuable lessons in what I went through way back then.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Somewhere along the way I managed to look at the calendar for the wrong year: This year April 28 was the last Friday in April, and also my last day with the company I founded so many years ago. As I'm getting ready to leave town this coming Tuesday, this last week was filled with very little work, and many goodbye visits with former employees, clients, and other friends outside of the business.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

We told the employees last Thursday about the sale, and it generally didn't seem like a huge deal. We have fourteen full-time employees and four contractors right now, and because there isn't a big change in regime, and because I'm rarely at the office anyway, I just don't think it's a big change for most of the employees.

Because I work with the employees in the field much more, they seemed to react much more, but in the end it was all well-wishes, "let's keep in touch", and so on.