Real vs vanity matrix

I am totally jet lagged now. It’s 4.30am local time and I am wide awake. So I thought let me take some time to jot my thoughts down.

I have been travelling quite intensely the past few weeks for Pod. But I think one thing stood out for me: real vs vanity matrix.

Being an entrepreneur gives you the advantage to decide what you want to spend your time on. No, you don’t have MORE time; you just get to decide what to do with it more freely. So if you choose to appear to do well, you can. Or you can choose to actually keep your head down to make sure you do well. The earlier is much more glamorous than the latter, obviously.

Let me explain what I mean. For an example: travelling for tech conferences, pitching, networking events, accelerators, etc seems glamorous (#jetsetter #entrepreneurlife #hustle #workhardplayhard) compared to sitting at your desk, calling users, listening to their complaints, meeting partners, etc. So I realised that it can be quite tempting to prioritise the “Instagrammble events” to proof to others that you’re doing well and to avoid the actual reality of being a founder (#gettingshoutedatbyusers #investorsaskingforupdates #teammemberleaving #newhireneedshelp #producnotworking #fixingbugs).

My co founder and I discussed this at length and decided that despite it all seems super exciting (I am writing this in Silicon Valley, of course it is exciting!), we will always ask: how does this benefit the company? I mean the exposure is great but weighing that against our actual matrix (growing the user base, revenue, partners, total savings gathered); if it does not justify the investment (especially time) that we take to participate, we will pass. Because for every single day we spent going through the glam and the glitters is a day less spent with people who matter: our users/customers.

We’re supposed to be heading to Hong Kong for a conference this coming July but I think I will give that a miss. I want to be focusing on spending more time onboarding and meeting users. It is less glamorous but it is the only one that matters – growing the REAL matrix.



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