March 11, 2013 (4 weeks ago)
Archive for the ‘Startups’ Category
February 4, 2013
Tapestry, a wonderful little picture-storytelling app from NYC did a lovely job of capturing the backstory of my “I don’t have friends” piece, one of my all-time favorites.…
January 31, 2013
I drew this cartoon because a recent story in the news made me sad:
A lively and popular figure of the start-up scene, Jody Sherman commited suicide.
I didn’t know the guy, but we had mutual friends, like Jason Calacanis and Tony Hsieh.
Jason summed it up well: “And it seems like folks are not ready to talk about that issue just yet. Which I can understand.”
This is the second startup suicide in a month, after poor ol’ Aaron Swartz. We are genetically programmed to have our our tiny brains fried by the suicide of somebody we care about; writing about it well is impossibe at the best of times. But here are some of my own meagre, insufficient thoughts:
1. My deepest condolences to Jody’s family, esecialy his wife and children. The sorrow must be horrible, simply horrible. I am so sorry, truly.
2. Once we’ve made our millions, retired and gotten old and decrepit, hey, then DEATH is not so scary an idea, but when one is still in one’s prime… Most of us doing the start-up thing are still in our prime, so natually DEATH is amazingly strange and alien to us.
3. The start-up life, for all the time we spend glorifying it, is a very tough road. Again, Jason says it well:
Perhaps we owe it to these three amazing humans to examine if the pressures of being a founder, the pressure of our community’s relentless pursuit of greatness, in some way contributed to their deaths?
I’ve always believed that being a founder is an unhealthy pursuit at times, and few have disagreed — certainly not those who have done it. Read any biography of a successful founder and you’ll find collateral damage around — and certainly in — those individuals.
Startups are a full-contact sport. This is a good time for all of us to pause and think about why we’re doing this. And the impact it’s having on us and the people around us.
4. Me and my friends in the sart-up scene aren’t spring chickens anymore, for the most part. We’re the old guard now. And as Karma catches up with us and the hard choices we made, our deaths are going to start getting a lot more common.
5. As I’m fond of saying, anything worth doing will cost you your life, eventually. Best make sure it’s worth it, make sure it’s something your deepest self actually wants.
6. Yes, your deepest self, not just your glib, sexy, bullshit self.
7. This is it. Fight like hell. Godbless.
September 19, 2012
If you want me to design a t-shirt for your business, feel free to drop me a line and we can talk about it. Email: gapingvoid at gmail dot com.
Thanks to roger for a great opportunity. I had fun!
March 2, 2011
You being my client and all, I thought now would be a good time to let you know my current thinking:
You love startups. You live and breathe making them happy. You live and breathe trying to be helpful to them. You live and breathe “Fanatical”.
Sure, other companies offer the same kind of hosting that you do– Amazon being the best known example.
But it’s your particular brand of “Fanatical” that permeates your culture… THAT is what makes you unique; THAT is what your competitors DON’T have; THAT is your secret weapon.
And the minute you lose that, of course, is the minute you start to die.
Not everybody reading this is going to believe what I’ve just said. Some will remain skeptical, both inside and outside your company. Frankly, I don’t care. I’ve been working with y’all long enough to know that I’m speaking the truth.
“We Love Startups.” That is your mantra. That is your line in the sand.
And now you’re going to have to live it. Now that the line has been drawn, I’m never going to allow you to take those words back. Nor will anyone else. Ever. Nor should you.
“We Love Startups.” That is what the startup community must know about Rackspace. They must know it AND believe it. All of them. That is the mission.
[PS: Note to Rackers: If your boss will let you, feel free to use the cartoon in your email signature. Spread the love etc.]
February 28, 2011
For the past couple of months, I’ve been trying to capture the Rackspace essence in a single, 550-pixel-wide cartoon.
So what is THE ONE THING they need to let the world know? Above all else?
My opinion? That they love startups.
Hence the cartoon above.
October 18, 2010
A damn good question, Robert. I thought it would make a good piece of art, hence the cartoon above. More specifically, I thought it would make a good image to go on the back of a Rackspace business card.
Rackspace is a big company (3,000 employees), but not big enough where they can no longer remember when they were a small company. So maybe it’s better to start a conversation (which is what handing out a business card does, ideally) with a pertinent question, rather than the usual “Here’s why you should buy our stuff” shpeel…