Looking back to 2009 many great things happened with the concepts that I’ve been calling the Enterprise Tribe, with the most exciting being Tech Ranch Austin. 2009 was all about transition, transitioning from a handful of theories to actual startup success at the Ranch. 2010, though, is about growth. That is, taking what we have to a whole new level. While reflecting on 2009 and 2010 with my buddy Damon Clinkscales about how I needed more time to just get stuff done, he pointed out “you need to switch more time to becoming a maker, not just a manager”. Spend more time making things, less time interrupted through out the day managing things. Paul Graham, of Ycombinator wrote a blog post about this- about how its hard to make things if you get interrupted through out the day with meeting after meeting or other interruption:
When you’re operating on the maker’s schedule, meetings are a disaster. A single meeting can blow a whole afternoon, by breaking it into two pieces each too small to do anything hard in. Plus you have to remember to go to the meeting. That’s no problem for someone on the manager’s schedule. There's always something coming on the next hour; the only question is what. But when someone on the maker’s schedule has a meeting, they have to think about it.
What’s happened for me is that as a Founding Partner of the Tech Ranch, I need time both as a Maker (getting things done for the Ranch and our portfolio companies) and a Manager (involved with the Tech Ranch community). Having those moments to work in without interruptions really makes a difference- say to review a spreadsheet, or respond to a strategic plan, or even to just handle email… As Paul points out:
Each type of schedule works fine by itself. Problems arise when they meet. Since most powerful people operate on the manager’s schedule, they’re in a position to make everyone resonate at their frequency if they want to. But the smarter ones restrain themselves, if they know that some of the people working for them need long chunks of time to work in.
This year, as one of my new years resolutions in order to grow the Tech Ranch I am going to have to spend more time on a Maker’s Schedule. I am sure that it will take some time to work out this type of schedule, and at first, I am sure that its going to feel different for some members of our community…. but I see spending more time in a Maker’s Schedule essential for me to build our community. Its not just about building out the Tech Ranch, but about creating situations that end up long term making the community itself stronger through seeing that our companies get to move farther and faster. All I ask, in echoing Paul’s words, is that everyone understand the need that we / I have in spending more time as a Maker. I will still be available for meetings, and am really interested in interacting with the community in depth (as I always have been and always will be). Spending more time on just getting things done is essential for 2010’s growth. In order to create more hours to be a Maker, I’ll be setting up office hours. And I am open to other ideas as well. Please let me know if you have other ideas that I should pursue. Through this I am looking forward to serving our community farther than I could in 2009, and I am hoping that we together can take many of the Tech Ranch companies to a whole new level together.
As I make this transition to setting aside more time as a Maker, I ask for your patience with how I start to manage my schedule, and I hope you see what I am aiming for in bringing our community much farther than before. Thank you for the support in 2009; Its now time to grow and strengthen our community together in 2010.