There’s nothing like starting a business to put your proverbial feet to the fire. Over the past 10 years as a Web and software entrepreneur I’ve learned an incredible amount. There have been times where my learning ebbed, and looking back, those were some of the most frustrating and depressing times.
Adam Kayce (from the brilliantly named, Monk at Work) asked, “What’s your learning edge? Where are you pushing the envelope of your learning? What are you into right now?”
Learning is like life – an evolution from something small to something bigger. We grow as people over time, and a big part of that is based on what we’re learning.
For me, it’s all about taking my startups to the next level. I achieved a certain level of success in the past, and I want to go far, far beyond that with Standout Jobs. And after Standout Jobs, we’ll go further still. That means a massive expansion in my learning.
Currently, I’m reading Founders at Work by Jessica Livingston. It’s the culmination of numerous interviews Jessica did with top Web/Internet and software entrepreneurs. Lots of lessons learned, and more blog posts coming in the future (as soon as I finish the book!)
Some of my most recent lessons learned:
- How to scale quickly and properly
- How to deal with financing and venture capital (this includes lots of reading: Fred Wilson, Venture Hacks, Ask The VC)
- More tracking of the Web 2.0 industry and where things are going with social networking, video, etc. (again, this involves lots of reading: Frantic Industries, GigaOM, Paul Kedrosky, etc.)
Part of my job with Standout Jobs is to build key relationships in the HR and recruiting worlds. This means an insane amount of learning, and this is perhaps truly my “learning edge” because it’s so new. I look at much of my development and learning in the startup world as an evolution of what I had previously done, but burying myself in the world of recruiting is new, refreshing and incredibly challenging.
The best way to learn is to live. And do. Books will only take you so far. Get out there, start something, and learn on the fly.