Chase Jarvis had Jason Fried on his podcast recently: “It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy At Work With Jason Fried” (iTunes, Google Play)
I really enjoyed the self awareness Jason Fried shows when he talks about advice (at 46:30):
I want to say one other thing about this, because part of me doesn’t like what I’m saying. Because I don’t think it’s fair. In that—I shouldn’t be giving a 23-year-old advice, because I’m 44. It’s too far. I’m too far removed. Like I don’t think I should actually be… no one should listen to me about how to start a business. I haven’t started a business for 20 years.
I can talk about how to run a business. I can talk about how to build a profitable business. And how to hire people and how to market and how to build products, how to make decisions… because that’s what I do everyday.
But I haven’t started a business for 20 years. I haven’t been 23 for 20 years.
So I kind of think advice has an expiration date. It certainly does. If you’re starting a business, you’re probably better off talking to someone who just started one six months ago. I don’t care if they’ve made it or they haven’t or they don’t know yet. Doesn’t matter. But they’re much closer to the thing.
A couple other parts I enjoyed
- Good ambition would be to aim to get to where you enjoy every day. Fried doesn’t like the idea of ambition being getting your name on a building, having the biggest team, and working the most hours. Every single day won’t be good, but it’s something to aim for.
- Likes Gary Vaynerchuk even if he disagrees with some of his message. Fried acknowledges that they have completely different views on amount of time spent working. Basecamp leans toward 40 hours a week being enough to run a successful business. Gary V, of course, works all the time, takes pride in it, and has built a huge audience around that message. What I like is that Fried acknowledges that each message might work for some people and not for others. As always: it depends1.
I’ll end with this note from Jason Fried and DHH’s book, “It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy At Work” (Check out some notes I wrote about it here.)
We decided that if the good old days were so good, we’d do our best to simply settle there. Maintain a sustainable, manageable size. We’d still grow, but slowly and in control. We’d stay in the good days—no need to call them old anymore.
Aim for the good days and stay there when you find them.
- Within the span of a workout I can go from thinking Gary V’s formula is a formula for burnout to thinking that it’s the exact formula I need and that I need a lot more of that attitude in my life. Anyway. Something I liked that I heard him say recently—and I should make a separate post about this—is that you’ll find a lot of super rich CEO-types touting the benefits of meditation and how crucial it is. But they probably weren’t relaxing and meditating when they were first starting. They were working very hard.