“Gun to the head—what would you decide now?”
“Fast forward 6 months after your sabbatical--how would you decide: what criteria is most important to you?”
“Putting aside a list of pros/cons, what’s the *one* reason you’re doing this?” “Why is that the most important reason?”
“What’s end-game here?”
“What does success look like in a world where you pick that path?”
“What would the best version of yourself do”?
“The Quakers have this idea where you don’t speak unless the spirit moves you. I'm waiting for the spirit to move me.”
h/t a friend
A/ Thanks for sharing because I value this relationship + want both of us to get needs met
B/ What I heard was X (summary)-- was that accurate?
C/ How can I contribute to meeting your needs?
“….” Don't’ say anything!
Take a lap. Or cold shower. Workout. Change your mind state before re-entering the conversation
“....” Still don’t say anything!
Ask for a pause: “Do you mind if we take a quick break and return tonight? I want to make sure I can fully listen to your story + appreciate where you are coming from.”
That last part is key.
“…” Probably best not to.
Unless you ask the caveat: "Are you interested in hearing feedback?"
Instead of “Why did you do that?”
Maybe: “What was going on for you?”
“If you had a billion dollars what would you do with
a) the money
b) your time”?
This shows where they want to change society and what they truly want to be doing.
This determines how they'll talk about you in the future--whether they'll view you in a charitable light or not.
“I’m going to pause right there for reactions”
Conversational tactic:— Erik Torenberg (@eriktorenberg) February 28, 2018
After rambling so much you either forgot your intended original point and/or don\u2019t know how to elegantly stop talking, say \u201cI\u2019ll pause for any thoughts or reactions.\u201d
“Let’s take this offline”.
“Why not bootstrap it so you can control your own destiny and have more optionality over selling for 50m, 100m?”
Also just a good question for every founder to ask themselves.
9/ Note: The Q should come from a place of seeking mutual benefit. Or else it\u2019ll ring hollow and manipulative.— Erik Torenberg (@eriktorenberg) December 4, 2018
When asking for a raise, it's less: \u201ctrue for you to feel I deserve this?"
More: \u201ctrue for you to feel it\u2019s in all of our best interest?\u201d
And you genuinely mean it.
More from Erik Torenberg
2/ “Being a VC” can mean a lot of different things, so it’s worth asking:
What actual activities do you want to do?
- Deep market analysis?
- Be in the flow of information and people?
- Make deals?
- Work closely w/ founders over time (e.g take board seats?)
- Manage capital?
3/ It’s worth specifying what type of VC you might like to become — as there are different archetypes. E.g.
- Benchmark (Lead series A/B - couple investments a year)
- First Round (Lead seed rounds, partner w/ a few companies a year)
- SV Angel (Make lots of seed investments)
Expa - Incubate companies
YC / Village Global - Build a platform to help entrepreneurs at scale
Do you want to join a firm or start one? There’s a lot to consider.
Different paths will require different skillsets & sets of experiences.
5/ Since the person who wrote the email is a young person trying to break into VC by joining a firm (and who doesn’t want to start a company), I’ll tailor this tweet storm to that goal. There’s some overlap.
Why is this the most powerful question you can ask when attempting to reach an agreement with another human being or organization?
A thread, co-written by @deanmbrody:
Next level tactic when closing a sale, candidate, or investment:— Erik Torenberg (@eriktorenberg) February 27, 2018
Ask: \u201cWhat needs to be true for you to be all in?\u201d
You'll usually get an explicit answer that you might not get otherwise. It also holds them accountable once the thing they need becomes true.
2/ First, “X” could be lots of things. Examples: What would need to be true for you to
- “Feel it's in our best interest for me to be CMO"
- “Feel that we’re in a good place as a company”
- “Feel that we’re on the same page”
- “Feel that we both got what we wanted from this deal
3/ Normally, we aren’t that direct. Example from startup/VC land:
Founders leave VC meetings thinking that every VC will invest, but they rarely do.
Worse over, the founders don’t know what they need to do in order to be fundable.
4/ So why should you ask the magic Q?
To get clarity.
You want to know where you stand, and what it takes to get what you want in a way that also gets them what they want.
It also holds them (mentally) accountable once the thing they need becomes true.
5/ Staying in the context of soliciting investors, the question is “what would need to be true for you to want to invest (or partner with us on this journey, etc)?”
Multiple responses to this question are likely to deliver a positive result.
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Here is why 👇
Startups fixed the problem of innovation, that corporations lack.
In big, slow corporations, innovation is a RISK and distraction from the core $$$ profitable business.
Agile startups could launch, iterate fast and eventually stumble upon new growing market opportunities.
When a startup reaches product-market-fit, it has to 🚀 "grow at all costs" and reach market dominance before some giant corporation can replicate their new product and distribute it to their existing giant customer base.
Startup's "growth at all costs" often means growth at the expense of charging customers $$$ money.
Hence, to be sustainable, startups have to constantly chase investor money.
Startup teams spend more time finding and pleasing investors, than finding and pleasing customers.
95% of startups die because they run out of (investor) money + no business model + crazy investor expectations.
Same way corporations die, when unable to adjust to new technology and market shifts.
Taking Down an Insider Threat
"I had all of the advantages. I was already inside the network. No one suspected me. But they found my hack, kicked me off the network...
...and physically hunted me down."
Many pentests start from the outside, wanting to see how the perimeter might be breached.
This pentest started from the inside. My client wanted to assume they had already been breached, and, if breached, how far could an attacker go.
Could they stop me once I was inside?
So they snuck me in. Disguised me as a new employee. Gave me a work computer, an ID badge, an account in their system... hell, I even had a cubicle w/my assumed name on it.
The only person who knew who I really was was their CISO. Everyone else thought I was Jeremy in Marketing.
During most of the first morning, I completed onboarding, made introductions, and completed menial tasks.
But I had to act quick. I only had a week onsite. I had to hack their network while not raising suspicion.
So I set about it.
You have to understand... most "Internal Pentests" are straight forward. The hard part is breaching the network, but once you're inside, it's a target rich environment. End of Life computers, default passwords, everyone a Local Administrator...
2) At this point, if you are a young and ambitious Tory MP it is now so overwhelmingly in your interest to vote against the withdrawal agreement. V v hard to see how Julian Smith can cap rebellion at under 100:
3) Really just to reiterate 1) Gyimah is the kind of "No, never gonna rebel" vaguely pro-EU Tory you'd need to get on side to outweigh Labour Leavers and Real Concerners.