#58 — Do you care what other people think?

I do. I’ll admit that.

Of course, we’re all trying to reduce that concern or give it less weighting.

A lot of people in tech talk about Richard Feynman. He’s an extreme case of following curiosity over conventions. Surely You’re Joking Mr. Feynman is the first book I’d recommend, but I love this title:

I went back to Feynman this week after interviewing Laura Jennings.

Laura was a VP at Microsoft in the 80s and 90s. She led Exchange from $9 to $175M, launched the first MS Office product, and grew MSN.

Still, she had fear about founding.

She said that worrying about what other people think caused her to delay pursuing her dream for 4 years.

She reflected on overcoming that doubt:

“I think it was about getting rid of who I thought I was supposed to be. I don’t care what people think I’m supposed to be. And in fact, nobody is thinking about me at all. So just do it.”

This mindset has also filtered into the way Laura runs her business and approaches failures:

“It starts with accepting failure that things are not always gonna work out. Nobody's a hundred percent right all the time. So you can't focus on what went wrong. It's all about what you do next.”

Even when Knack ran out of boxes during the holiday rush (big issue), Laura put the focus on “what do we do next?” instead of “who is at fault?”

Hope you enjoy learning from Laura.

And if you are a Feynman fan, what’s your favorite book or speech?