You can’t buy passion – you’ve either got it or you haven’t

A friend of mine pointed out Mark Cuban’s 12 rules for start-ups that is published on today. What I took away from the article is that, the reason that you start a company or join an early stage company is NOT because you’re trying to become really rich but it’s primarily because you have passion around what you are doing. Yes, start-ups are also a good way to make personal money and certainly I have benefited from that, but if you are not obsessed and passionate about what you are doing, then you’re in the wrong place.

This sort of hit home to me when, despite me not starting with the new company until next Tuesday, I was swapping emails with someone from that company at 3am this morning. Yes….I said swapping….meaning that not only am I passionate enough to be up at 3am doing emails but so was the other individual. You cannot buy this kind of commitment. I spent about 75% of my day yesterday working on the new company and I have multiple meetings today.

A few other things from Mark’s post that I believe in:

1. Fun….I think everyone would agree that my last company used to be an incredibly fun environment to work at – just ask Richard Branson :)

2. Sales cure all….if you are making money, then you have time to fix the other things

3. Keep the organization flat…..anyone can speak to anyone and should be encouraged to do so. I don’t believe in crappy hierarchies at startups

One thing that he didn’t mention, maybe because he thinks it’s obvious, is honesty. I believe in being honest with yourself, your colleagues, your investors, your customers….don’t bullshit people, don’t give speeches that have been written for you about subjects you know nothing about, don’t put your name to blogs that are written by someone else….speak from the heart, say what you believe.

Even if people don’t like or agree with what you’re saying, you will have instant respect from those around you.

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