Feb 21 2012

Retrospective Addiction Of A Madman Post Board Meeting

I love getting post board meeting emails that are retrospectives from execs in the meeting. This one came a week ago from Jeff Malek, the CTO and co-founder of BigDoor. They’ve been on a tear lately and are in the process of a massive set of Q1 launches for new customers. 

We had a solid board meeting, but I suggested they were being too casual about a couple of things, including communication about what was going on. This is NOT a casual group and I knew using the word casual would press a few buttons. And they did – the right ones. Jeff’s retrospective is awesome and he was game to have me share it with you to get a sense of what’s inside a CTO’s head during and after a board meeting.

I have a retrospective addiction.  But as a result of looking back at our meeting today Brad, words like ‘casual’ still ringing in my ears, I recognized I’d let some of my own assumptions drive away potential opportunities, maybe even creating some problems along the way.  I’ve always run under the assumptions that :

  1. your inbox is an order of magnitude more onerous than mine (quite)
  2. the best way to respect and value your time would be to limit email/communication
  3. you and Keith have regular communications complete with bits about what I’m up to and thinking
  4. you know even in the absence of communication from me that I’m working like a madman, doing everything I can to make it happen
  5. you also know through some process of osmosis how much I value you, Foundry, your approach, feedback, etc

Just so you don’t get the wrong idea, it’s not that I took your feedback and concluded that I needed to give you more BigDoor insight, or that you needed more info in general to get a better picture – that’s what the numbers are for.

So while all of the above assumptions are probably true to some degree, here’s the new protocol I’m going to start optimistically running under:

  1. thanks to your candor and aversion to BS, you’ll tell me to STFU as needed
  2. you’d like a concise ping about whatever, whenever from me
  3. you’ll give me feedback if/when it makes sense to, and I won’t expect a reply otherwise, unless I’m asking a direct question
  4. doing so is likely to benefit both of us, one way or another – hopefully more candid feedback will ensue
  5. you know that I value your time highly, and mine specifically in the context of devoting most waking hours to making BigDoor a success
  6. you know that I am incredibly grateful to know you and have you as an investor

Those are my new assumptions.  I felt like giving this topic some time and thought, glad I did, will keep it (mostly) short going forward but hopefully you know a bit more about where I’m coming from, out of this.

Thanks again for the time today, I thought it was an awesome f-ing meeting.   I always leave them on fire.