Week 304 in Detroit. 304 almost did not happen. 303 did not happen. I just didn’t feel as though I had anything to say. My observations felt small. They were interesting to me but “too small.” So I just waited, I didn’t published.
My thought was — this is not interesting, this is not useful. The voice on my shoulder whispered in my ear “not deep enough,” “no one can use this,” and “your observations have gotten stale.”
My reaction was (is?) complex. On one hand, I want to improve. I listen to the critic and try to determine what of the fear might still be true. Asking myself questions like “why are you writing this?” and “will this be meaningful to anyone?” On the other hand, listening to that voice would mean never writing or posting anything.
This week writer and VC Morgan Housel was interviewed on the Tim Ferriss podcast. He mentioned that having a perspective and expressing a view of the world is a differentiator for his VC fund. Money is fungible so what they bring to the relationship is based on their people and their perspective. Whether a company, VC fund or nerdy housing innovation guy from Detroit, differentiation is in all our perspective.
It’s why diversity is critical — perspective matters — and it is why Saturday Cup of Joe has been an effective differentiator for me.
In fact, thinking about it yesterday (actually Saturday) I realized that my attraction to ESG & Impact taps into a similar vein. ESG is a company’s differentiator. On Wednesday, I recorded a podcast on company culture with two leaders — Amy from Stavvy and Andrew from Canopy — that highlighted how important shared values and people are to the day-to-day experience of a company. A company’s people are a differentiator, clearly. Most CEOs refer to people as their strongest asset. ESG is the framework and measure of that asset. It’s also a measure of the company’s impact — internally and externally.
Over the last 304 weeks, the Saturday Cup of Joe sorta acted as a weekly framework for me to work out the component parts of my own impact.
It’s one reason I keep writing it; it’s also why I worry about it’s depth and value to you. I’m always grateful that you are reading this. Thank you.