One Reason Smart Founders Succeed

Founders, you have felt startup chaos and some of you (most of you) feel completely overwhelmed.  Every day you are confronted with a to-do list that can’t even reasonably be completed by the end of the day.

Some of you may have heard the term “vanity metrics” which are the types of data we gather and report on that are supposed to represent company progress but is reality have no relationship to a positive outcome of the project or company.

Vanity Activities represent an even scarier and productivity-sucking set of tasks for founders and have a larger negative impact on the trajectory of your project.

John Wooden (basketball coach) coined the phrase “don’t confuse activity with progress”.  Do you have a filter or a mechanism – to test you and your team – to guard against these useless activities?  Social media, email, meetings, reports and processes are a few of my favorite targets.

If your company or project is the most important activity in your life, why spend time away from that task?  Take a highly-proactive look at your day and ask yourself whether the tasks of the day will influence the outcome or if they are just vanity activities.

Speaker, investor, mentor, startup founder. One of 3 or 4 Co-Founders of MapQuest (sold to AOL for $1.2B). Managing Director of $25M Venture Fund in late 90's. CEO, COO or President of various companies ranging from $200k to $20M in size. One of two Managing Directors of The Startup Factory (35 investments across 7 cohorts), founder and MC of the Big Top Reverse Job Fair and national writer and speaker waxing poetic around startups and startup communities. Currently EIR @ Techstars with Brad Feld ~ Startup Communities, to help community leaders around the world grow their startup community.

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