Yesterday we leapt back into “the big room” and a morning discussion with Jules Piere of The Daily Grommet, which features a new, cool product. Every. Day. Even more than that, the features typically include not just a video, but an interview of someone with intimate knowledge of the product; typically a founder. And really, what better person to speak about a product, particularly at a small company? Jules spent the morning giving the class a better understanding of how best to represent ourselves on social / professional networking sites like LinkedIn. Simply put, if it’s online (even if it’s private) people can see it. Because of that, regular maintenance (particularly when interviewing for jobs, or even acting as an interviewer!) is required, and not just aesthetically. Think of each new contact, each person you exchange a hand-shake or a business card with, as a potential investor / advisor / friend / teammate. Though you may not recognize it in the moment, they may be your future lifeline for one reason or another.
After Jules, Katie Rae rejoined the class from the previous week, teaching us about colors as analogies for personality types. Unlike more complex models (Myers-Briggs), it focuses on the “thing that they are looking for,” wherein understanding the basic approach to communication and attitude by that person provide guidance on how to interact with them. Katie said that being effective in an organization means speaking all four ‘languages’ (related to each color), rather than focusing on a specific style. As with many of things, one key in developing your skills is practicing, getting feedback, and trying again.
Later in the afternoon, Reed Sturtevant led an open discussion, using the MVP of one of last week’s Idea Jam session. How quick was that? Reed got a lot of questions around funding of startups, compensation as a feature of working at a startup, etc. When asked about the “right track” for young ventures, Reed mentioned a great team, and vision relative to their funding needs and beyond, among other things. All in all, an insightful day for all of us.
Of course, the highlight of the day was learning a little bit about ‘Sketch Noting‘ from classmate C Todd Lombardo. A lot of the students (author included) have been impressed at the fluidity and information that C Todd is able to communicate from his notes. As he said, you don’t have to draw well in order to use sketch noting, but you do have to be willing to draw! With basic shapes and forms, nearly anything can be constructed. Just like figuring out our ‘color’, there’s a natural sketch noting language for each of us; we just have to develop it, speak it… and practice, practice, practice…