Don’t under estimate the results of your actions

I’m not one to talk. So consider this a note to self that I think is helpful to others.

It was late on a Tuesday night that I got a ping from one of our angels. A very important member of our staff was spotted at a “Speed Dating” style recruiting event. Given the dedication and great performance of this person it came as a surprise.

Why would that person be looking around at their options right now? I thought to myself.

“I wouldn’t worry about it”, was the advice of my source. “We see this from time to time. Some people like to hedge their bets.”

Again taking a dose of my own medicine here, I too entertained the calls and emails from recruiters in my day. I liked to hear what others were offering. But, the key point of that for me was,  I didn’t look at what my options were until I felt I wasn’t being rewarded for my achievements. So to me the action of this employee was an expression of disinterest. Of recoupment for lost rewards by finding another company that might offer what was deserved.

After several follow on discussions, I’ve decided to keep it to myself. My gut reaction was to have a 1 on 1 discussion with the person involved and find out if there was anything we needed to do to improve the situation. But in the end, we felt it was too invasive to respond, to have discovered this, weighed our options and react on what this person probably thought was a harmless secret exploration in their own personal time. It wasn’t our place to step in at this time.

The take away for others, and point of this post is, that that person has cost us hours of thought, internal debate, and doubt. All are emotions and drain on energy at a time when it’s really not wanted. I doubt this person considered that would be a consequence, and may never know it was. But when your actions have potential affect on others, it’s worth thinking carefully about those costs.

In a world that seems to try and return balance to chaos, this was a little bit of chaos that will probably fall to an angle of repose eventually, but I don’t know how, it could hurt more then one person directly or indirectly, for years to come.


14 months ago I had just accepted an offer to join the founders team of a startup company in Berlin as a Product Manager. The company had 9 employees, a business model that actually generated cash with each conversion, and the team was clearly able to produce results and take the risks needed to trail blaze a small angel funded company into a massive industry dominator.

Since then we’ve closed two more rounds of founding, tripled our number of customers, achieved an important milestone of contribution from our marketing, discovered new and exciting levers of to increase our traffic volume, and survived a number of critical tests needed to find new ways to grow. It’s been a great ride, I’ve loved just about every second of it despite any of the drawbacks that come with being a founder.

Today I’m thankful.

I’m appreciative for the people who took a chance on me, for my friends and family who supported me through a period of my life where it’s probably not always been easy to keep a relationship with me, for the employees and partners who trusted us and gave us everything they could to help realize our dream, for the customers who were willing to try a new customer acquisition model with us, and for the people who found our product useful and allowed us to wow them.