Candid thoughts about being candid

For a long time I felt hamstrung in my ability to communicate professionally. I couldn’t say what I wanted to say because of how it might be perceived by the Scripted community.

I wasn’t allowed to take risks, and that meant I couldn’t be completely authentic.

It wasn’t fun to write because I couldn’t write what I really wanted to write. I’d get close sometimes, flirt with the honest truth, but usually I would sidestep and let it pass by.

I’m sure I’m not alone in this dilemma. A lot of entrepreneurs I’d love to hear from don’t write much. When they do, it’s on safe topics, never about highs and lows in their professional lives.

This is what we’re spending a majority of our day doing — why can’t we write about it? All sides of it, not just the IPOs and shutdowns.

There’s a silly rule out there that says you’re not allowed to live-blog your journey and be real about it.

Starting a company is an emotional pursuit. There’s no way around it. Feelings, good and bad ones, are involved at every step, and it’s easy to stir up these emotions with opinions about the mishaps.

I’m sure my employees and investors wouldn’t be pleased if I went into every detail about a closed-door business meeting, but why can’t I write about what I learned, what I’m still confused about it, and what I’m thinking might work better next time?

Some entrepreneurs are doing it.

It’s a boon of intel to anyone running or thinking of starting a business. A boon of intel to their competitors? Not really. I’m a firm believer that the magic is all with the entrepreneur and her ability to execute.

Even if every successful entrepreneur published a business manual with every thought they had, they’d still have come out on top. So the idea that oversharing is bad for business is just not true.

People actually don’t do it because oversharing makes other people uncomfortable.

Most of my writing about entrepreneurship stems from my last two years at Scripted. So much happened in that time, and it’s a really interesting case study to explore.

Objectively, it hits every Silicon Valley cliche:

  • Fast growth, venture-backed fundraising
  • Multiple layoffs
  • Founder breakups and CEO dismissals
  • Revenue model and key metrics turnaround
  • Acquisition / exit

Emotions aside, I feel very fortunate to have lived it. It’s a front-row seat to the Silicon Valley MBA, and writing candidly about it not only has exposed me to new networks of people I admire, but has also helped me articulate and digest the business lessons that will propel Toofr, eNPS, and Thinbox to greater heights with fewer mistakes and a helluva lot less capital.

When people asked me how often I used my MIT Sloan MBA in my day job at Scripted, I’d shrug. “Not much, actually. Most of the case studies were about companies much bigger than us.”

If instead someone asked me, “How often do you use your Scripted experience when you’re bootstrapping your next projects?” My answer is simple: all day, every day. It’s literally everything I do.

Every decision I make now pulls from something I did or thought about at Scripted. It’s the best education I ever had.I think that’s why I want to share it.

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