My C.E.O. Didnt Pull Out

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One key difference though is that most people have at least some experience with real-life dating. You could be:.

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Looking for a co-founder and neither of you have an idea yet. Pairing up with someone you already know to find an idea. If you already have a vision for your startup in mind, then you might want to skip straight into getting to know your potential co-founder on a deeper level. See the white space as an opportunity to try working together and a chance to explore interesting ideas at the same time.

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Lin came to this realization after seeing the hidden dangers in pairing up quickly with an old friend. They have all these habits big and small that suggest you may not be such a great match after all. Here, Lin recommends a few additional broad takeaways to keep in mind before kicking off your search:.

Because that person is probably going to be around even longer. However, there is an important caveat to consider. Some people can only go three months, while others could last three years. It's highly dependent on what they want to do, not just what they've done before — you have to talk about it to find out. Still, a positive outcome is anything but guaranteed and progress is often hard to sense.

You need to put one foot in front of the other — you have to keep moving. I don't think that these steps are strictly linear — there's no waterfall chart that perfectly illustrates the stages as you move through them.

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  6. Step 1: Find potential co-founders from your network of entrepreneurial communities. Step 2: Identify overlap through initial conversations. What sectors or industries do you have experience in? What areas are you interested in building a startup in? Step 3: Dive into exploring specific ideas with brainstorming and lightweight prototyping.

    The goal is to both make progress toward an idea and gain collaboration experience to see what it would be like to work together. Step 4: Fill out the co-founder questionnaire separately and schedule three to four working sessions to go over your respective answers. Step 5: Commit to working together or part ways. Know when to pull the trigger — and when to stop and start anew with someone else. In the sections that follow, Lin gets granular on each of those high-level steps, filling in tactical advice and drawing on stories from her own co-founder search experiences.

    Lin typically courted a mix of folks that she had either known for a long time, gotten introduced by a mutual friend, or just recently met at an event. I told all my friends and closer connections that I was looking for co-founders and asked for recommendations and intros. There are even some early-stage investors who help facilitate some of those interactions.

    The long and the short of it is that you have to be open to opportunity. The only opportunity that should give you pause is a chance to work with a particularly close friend. His research found that social connections are likely to be stable in the first six months — the honeymoon period — but become riskier over time.

    And even if it works out smoothly, doing a startup together will surely affect your friendship, so you have to be prepared for that. After finding a potential lead, schedule a few coffee chats or calls to uncover common ground — or a lack thereof.

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    In particular, she searches for a lack of alignment in this step. Here are the threads she recommends pulling on in these early conversations:. Areas of interest: What kinds of things are you excited to work on? What have you explored recently? Are we interested in the same industries and business models? Broad roles: Are we interested in potentially exploring a co-founder relationship together? What would that look like?

    2. Talk to other founders.

    After spot checking for initial alignment, Lin dives straight into tackling a project with a potential co-founder. Lin suggests timeboxing this exploratory period to about two weeks to maximize both learning fast and moving quickly. I had their process in mind each time I was ideating. Would a noisy duck do any better? The Aflac Duck is a rock star in Japan. Today we insure one out of every four Japanese households and are the leading insurance company measured by number of policies in force.

    We took that title from Nippon Life, which had held it for more than years. In our Japanese marketing team introduced a new incarnation of the duck for a new insurance product. The cat duck has become so popular that our newest commercial was voted number one in Japan. A giant plush version of Maneki Neko Duck toured the country by bus, drawing crowds as big as 20, in city after city. At each event we set up tables where we were able to sell policies to enthusiastic fans.

    How did we even get to this point? What made our white duck a sensation in Japan when the original Aflac Duck commercial aired there? When I first became CEO of the American Family Life Assurance Company, in , I reviewed all of our operations and decided to sell or close the ones that were underperforming in order to focus on Japan and the United States, the two biggest insurance markets in the world.

    We had to do something dramatic. So rather than try a brand-new name, we decided to go with our acronym, Aflac. In the late s, we thought it was time for some new television advertisements, so we invited several agencies to pitch us at the same time in a creative shoot-out. We reviewed at least 20 different concepts and set out to test the best. The top two agencies were allowed to submit five ads each for testing. With some trepidation, we agreed to let the agency test the commercial, along with some other concepts, to determine which of them was the most memorable.

    In six years only one of our commercials had earned a In the Kaplan Thaler testing, one of the highest-scoring concepts featured the actor Ray Romano, whose hit television show, Everybody Loves Raymond , was then at the height of its popularity. I considered it a bird in the hand.

    We had a dilemma: Should we go with a commercial so bold—or with the gentle Ray Romano commercial that performed much better than our traditional ads? Go with the safe choice. When I tried explaining to people what we were thinking about, no one got it. So I stopped telling people. If it went badly, I was just going to pull it. Find opportunities for impromptu feedback. Again, the goal with day-to-day guidance is to to push toward radical candor. Scott urges managers to go so far as to print out the quadrant system, post it near their desks, and explain what it means to their teams. Make backstabbing impossible. But that means more than squelching obviously political or passive aggressive behavior; bosses also need to avoid acting as well-meaning, but ultimately harmful go-betweens.

    If she had it to do over, she would have insisted that these colleagues speak with each other directly about their conflict first — before involving her. Only if that route were exhausted would she have become involved, and then only with both parties present. She encourages the opposite approach, though. So try to make a good faith effort to help people find a solution, and find it quickly. Make it easier to speak truth to power. Instead, she recommends putting this advice into practice with a simple meeting — commonly called a 'skip-level meeting,' though that sounds hierarchical, so she prefers to call them ' manager guidance sessions.

    Get them comfortable with the idea, and make it clear that this meeting is intended to be helpful to them. Then explain the process to the reports, again making it clear that the goal of the meeting is to help their boss be a better manager — and that the meeting is not for attribution. And I would tell people that at the end of this meeting, I was going to share the document. We're not going to have time to go back and edit, because we're all too busy.

    That had a way of focusing the conversation. To prevent the meeting from devolving into a gripe session, force the team to prioritize issues. What are the one or two things you want your boss to do differently? Then, arm ed with that s hort wish list, talk with the manager in question. Then, follow up to make sure the boss actually does what he or she promised to do. Why didn't I know about it? Put your own oxygen mask on first. At one point, when I was having a very stressful period in my career, I realized that the most important thing I could do for my team was not hire great people.

    It was not to raise a lot of money. She got pretty religious about it, running around the reservoir near her New York apartment every morning.