He who has equipped himself for the whole of life does not need to be advised concerning each separate thing, because he is now trained to meet his problem as a whole; for he knows not merely how he should live with his wife or his son, but how he should live aright.
-Aristo of Chios
… that today is the Birthday of Gertrude Ederle (1906)? American swimmer Gertrude Ederle achieved fame when she competed in the 1924 Olympics and became the first woman to swim across the English Channel in 1926. Trivia fans: In her private later life, Ederle taught swimming at a school for deaf children. Take today to think about some of the influential women in your life.
Today’s Inspirational Quote:
“Women should do for themselves what men have already done — occasionally what men have not done — thereby establishing themselves as persons, and perhaps encouraging other women toward greater independence of thought and action.”
Small companies create almost all the jobs. They are the insurgents, the agents of change.
Big companies are a backbone, reliable providers of goods and services. Big companies operate at a scale that most of us can’t even imagine.
The two points of view often conflict. And each can learn from the other.
Net neutrality is an argument between freedom of innovation by small business vs. control from big business.
Campaign finance reform is an argument against big companies and their leaders buying the outcomes of elections.
It’s not always about capitalism vs. the alternative. It’s often about the status quo vs. what’s next.
Worth noting: A small business is not a big business that hasn’t grown up yet. It’s different. A small business has an owner, someone who can make decisions without meetings, who can listen to customers and who can embrace the work at hand.
If you run a small business, I hope you’ll check out the new workshop from my friend and colleague Ramon Ray. The folks at Akimbo are working with Ramon to help connect small business people on their journey to making a bigger impact. It works better together.
Dearest Father, ever-living creator, I come to you to confess my sins. I had a terrible lapse in judgment, I did not love others as you do. I beg your forgiveness, grant me another chance. Pass judgment upon me so I may feel the warmth of your light once more.
You shall not inflict pain or terror in the name of god. You shall not take or use a life as if it belongs to you. You shall follow only the light. You shall not abuse power in any form. You shall not fight another who is forgiven of their sins. You shall persevere and be rewarded.
1) Master the power of gestures.
We talk about our times as the age of information overload, but public figures in all ages have had to compete to be heard. Ancient Rome was saturated with political talk: popular lawyers like Cicero consistently drew huge crowds, and the Roman people could regularly hear all-day parades of political speeches in the Forum. How could someone break through all that noise?
Cato understood that actions are far easier to “hear” than words. So he perfected a style of politics-by-gesture. He went barefoot. He wore his toga commando (then, as now, not the fashionable thing to do). He walked alone without the usual entourage of aides. He slept in the trenches with his troops rather than relax in a tent; he marched alongside them rather than ride a horse. He surrounded himself with philosophers, not political advisors. Just a second’s glance at him told an onlooker everything he needed to know about Cato. Those gestures, more than any vote cast or speech given, made his reputation.
Even his death at the end of Rome’s civil war was a statement against his enemies. One night, he retired to his room after dinner, and loudly called for a book—Plato’s dialogue Phaedo—and his sword. The Phaedo tells the story of the death of Socrates, a philosopher too principled to live, forced to drink poison by the political authorities. Cato wanted everyone to see the parallels. Then he gritted his teeth and disemboweled himself.
To this day, his gesture against tyranny speaks as loud as any book or speech on the subject.
I have two content ideas. You have the power to decide if I work on them by clicking on the links on each one (you can click on both links):Our article on Y Combinator-backed failed startup has done it really well (+60k people have read it in the last two weeks). We can create similar articles for other startup programs like 500 Startups and Techstars. If you would read this content, click on this link (it’ll r-direct you to the YC article).Yesterday, the US streaming platform Quibi shut down, only 7 months after it’s launch. Their failure story is super interesting; it includes burning +$2 billion from investors. If you would like to read an in-depth research of their shut down, click on this link (it’ll redirect you to a WSJ article about Quibi’s shut down). This newsletter is sponsored by Formlets and Starkflow. The first tool will help you validate your startup idea quickly and cheaply. The second one will help you build a dev team for that validated startup idea 😉
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Hope you enjoy this week’s content and sponsors.
Quick recommendation: If you frequently consume online content, you may have seen the rise of paid newsletters lately. Several writers are making a living through them nowadays.
Dru Riley, Trends.vc‘s founder and Failory’s consultant, has written a great article about paid newsletters (in which I contributed). Make sure to check it out if you’re in the online world as it’s a trend that seems to be here to stay.
As every week, I’d love to hear from you. Anything you’d like to talk about is well-received!