“He is the best programmer who doesn’t care about our vision.”

Courtesy of Rolling Stone Magazine (2011)

Courtesy of Rolling Stone Magazine (2011)

The title quote is from the biographical film, Jobs (2013). It’s a statement that was made by Steve Jobs (Ashton Kutcher) when one of his team members failed to see/share the vision that he had for the fonts on the Lisa Project and the programmer was subsequently fired.

This past week has been pretty interesting.

The business has taken the turn for the better- for the first time in I don’t know how many months– and with that, came a myriad of lessons. I learnt about what perseverance really means to skeptics, critics, investors and consumers alike.

It’s that look in the founder’s eye that says:

 “Really, this project is going to happen. And it WILL be a breakthrough success. I am here, to rule the world.”

This is what my next feat is: being able to express to future investors our intentions and our ability as a team to make good on all our deliverables. Many would think that a couple of years of experience (where it matters), some great ideas and a well thought-through plan of execution is enough to woe any potential “buyer”. But I think that the above is actually secondary. What the buyer wants to see is more than mere ability but a combination of ability and passion/drive/zest. That is, how badly do YOU want to see this succeed?

When the going gets tough, it is the belief and dedication of every member of the team that determines whether you crumble under the pressure or you rise-up to the occasion. Forget, for a moment, the list of qualifications which accompany the various organs of the company. Yes, organs.

The company as a whole is like the human body with every team member being a different yet vital organ…Vital to the performance and wellbeing of the overall body. And believe me, the going really does get tough. There are times when nothing seems to be going your way and every attempt to move forward seems like a leap towards the back. It is in these times where tensions rise and with them comes a googolplex of overwhelming frustrations that sadly can not be remedied by anything but success. A programmer that believes that he deserves to get paid according to his contribution and his expertise will fail you at this point because you are unable to fulfill these needs. You’re still a startup. Which by definition is:

“…a human institution designed to deliver a new product or service under conditions of extreme uncertainty.”- Eric Ries, The Lean Startup

So you need people that will be willing to endure these conditions because they possess a clear understanding and belief in the vision of the startup. And they are determined to do all that they can to achieve this vision because they know- that their efforts will yield success and this success will be worth all the time and money sacrificed for this team of revolutionaries.

That’s what you want: dedication throttled by belief; not mere action driven by compensation.

So, look amongst your crew members and ask yourself whether these are the right people to be the custodians of your vision of a better tomorrow.


One thought on ““He is the best programmer who doesn’t care about our vision.”

  1. Pingback: My 183,960th hour of living | Project ZooLoo

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