Techstars: Week Three

You're the best around.

Today begins week four of Techstars Cloud here in San Antonio. It feels weird to keep counting weeks because I honestly haven’t had any “weekends.” I’ve been getting most of my design work done at home when the family is asleep, because my weekdays are typically filled with a series of short meetings. It’s good though.

Most of the startups came to the program with a pretty good idea of what they were doing and how they planned to build their business. Last week changed all of that for a lot of people. Week one and two basically threw everyone into turmoil, and week three was the week for many of the teams’ individual members to reconnect. Team members got to take a brief rest, get a drink, tell a joke, etc. Week four looks like it will be productive. After three weeks of mentor meetings, these companies have a solid, but in some cases wildly different view of what they’re going to be doing. If the requests for me to do design/copy work in my inbox are any indication, this should be a busy week. I’m ’bout that design life, though. I’m not sweating it.

My guess is, teams that are the most flexible when the business’ focus changes, will be the people that succeed. True colors always come out when the heat is on. If you have the right people on your team, those true colors are manageable, and even beneficial. A single, less than optimally fit person can quickly turn into a long term problem, especially if a team is trying to work around one of their own freaking out. It’s an old story, and it still happens all the time. You’d think people could manage to keep shit glued by now. With this program, Techstars seems to be the glue. I’m not privy to all the mechanics of how and why Techstars does what it does, but there’s an obvious ethos of making sure people are in the right lanes when it comes to their individual tasks, and they are apparently pretty good at figuring out how to optimize/leverage the inevitable gumbo of personality types for success. This is interesting to me, because I’ve worked a lot of places where management has said they do that, but I’ve never worked a place that actually did.

It’s going to be a good week. Week three was like the first half a phoenix story. This week is the rebirth from ashes part. I’m sure there will be several swings like this throughout the duration of the program. A fair approximation for you to visualize is any martial arts/sports/personal struggle movie where there is an extended montage of training, set to an inspirational song. This week is that part. Fuckin’ “Eye of the Tiger” and shit. Or whatever your jam is. Mine is “You’re the Best Around.”