[Announcement] New blog series: "Postcards from Startupland"

As an occasional series here, I will start to write about my startup experience, especially as it relates to corporate innovation.

[Announcement] New blog series: "Postcards from Startupland"

Hey friends,

some of you know that I joined a young startup about a year ago now.

I know, I know. Not many details yet. We're in stealth mode for a little while longer. More soooon.

But, meanwhile ...

You asked about my startup work

Since I started to support this startup, friends have asked me what it's like to work at a startup and especially how it compares to corporate innovation.

I love getting asked. But I also often struggle with answering this question 🤔, with both the what and how of my answers:

On the "what" side:

  • What forum would be right for sharing, and what content would fit? Credible Innovation is about corporate innovation, not startups. But I really don't want to start yet another blog.
  • What would interest people? It turns out that a lot of startup work is just ... work. Preparing for taxes, for example, is just not that exciting, even in a startup.
  • For what am I even a credible source of insights? Not like I have the decade-plus of experience in startups that I do in corporate innovation.

On the "how" side:

  • How might I avoid clichés in what I share?
  • How might I sound neither depressive (given all the challenges inevitably involved with standing up a company), nor arrogant or grand-stand-y (given all the cool things that pop up once in a while)?

And so on. You get it. I over-think things. No surprise. 🤪

What I'll share

As mentioned, I would love to give you glimpses into startup life, especially ones that might actually be interesting and maybe even slightly relevant to folks doing corporate innovation work.

🥁 Here then is my attempt at a solution.

It's surely just a crude v1 that will evolve like crazy, start and stop in fits, or maybe stop outright. But an attempt nonetheless. For now:

  • I will start a new blog post series here that you can even filter to just read those posts.
  • The point of this series will be to highlight topics where my startup experience can be helpful for corporate innovators. Practically, that will mean telling stories about the similarities and differences between the two settings and the "so what's" that stand out to me for innovators in existing orgs.
  • To be clear: This won't be a journal. I will mix in experiences from other startup work I have done too. Only most, not everything, that I write will come from this experience. I will also mix older and newer experiences to focus on the point at hand.
  • The posts will appear irregularly, as topics emerge and as–let's be frank–I actually find time. One cliché of startup work that is undoubtedly true is what an absurd amount of work it is. Extra writing time is sometimes hard to come by.
  • The content will surely be just as nerdy as all my other stuff. 🤓
  • I will give it a different visual identity, ideally to help you distinguish them from other posts. (I'm not super-awesome at visual stuff. Pardon if it looks a bit TOO different at first. Will strike a balance over time.)

The first post will appear soon. Keep your eyes peeled!

And, as always, let me know what you think about what I write and what else you might want to hear.

Why call this a series of "postcards?" Aren't those ancient past?

Yeah, I know. We now have the interwebs. And the Instas. And all their tech-y friends.

But postcards serve two roles:

  • Slow read: Some of the point is to slow down. To see things as they actually are. Of course, badly-written postcards were always full of clichés, meant merely as space-fillers. But good ones would compress a little window into an experience onto that chunk of cardboard and share it with someone who mattered. This will be less about day-to-day details and more about lessons learned upon reflection.
  • Excerpts: The longer I work in startup mode, the more topics I see that conventional startup advice skips. I can't cover them all. But I can at least call out a few small interesting snippets. The full story can then follow another time, once we're (metaphorically) back together and sharing holiday photos. So, think "postcard" not "letter."

A little goodie for fun

More coming soon, as mentioned.

Meanwhile, I thought it fun to push the image of the "postcard" from Startupland way too far and to create a view of what Startupland might look like.

Enjoy a "view from Mt. Unicorn down to Startupland at magic hour," as mentioned in my postcard graphic:

Zoomed-out view of a mountain above a city and tropical bay. Foreground shows futuristic buildings on the mountain.
Note: Image created with AI. Duh, 'cuz I'm not that good.