Seth Godin had an interesting post today called “On doing the work”).
If you’re a regular reader around here, you already know I was one of the 8,000 or so in that class. I was also one of the ones that did the exercises and participated in as much of the Q/A as I could find time for (I didn’t participate as much as I would have liked, but hey I *am* trying to build a business too).
As one of the ‘active’ people, I had no idea it was as large as almost 8,000! Learning that there were, I had three big, immediate, reactions:
1. Wow. Seth cleaned up on this thing! (but Seth’s built a killer brand over the years and so he, deservedly so, cleans up on everything he does)
2. 8,000!? From my point of view, it felt like there were only 300 people in the class. Only 50-100 of which were active on some level.
3. I feel depressed for the 7,500+ people that were at the right spot, at the right time, with the right intent and somehow still missed the fun and the *real* opportunity. Hopefully they felt like they got some value out of the experience, but I’m sad that *I* didn’t get to hear, help, or be connected to any of it.
For me personally, I took a few worthy tidbits away from the experience:
2. It revealed, and gave me a chance to fix, a few holes in the story around the company I’m building.
3. I got a taste of what my, real world, peers are doing, thinking about, and struggling with. I connected with a lot of these struggles and concerns because they are all things I’ve experienced at some point as well – and so it was *very* motivating to realize there is a lot I’ve already worked through to get to my current spot.
…there were other little things as well, but hopefully you get the idea. It wasn’t just the class, it was the people and how it all personally relates to me and my situation that made the class valuable (to me).
But getting back to the title of the post, I’ve always been the type of person where: if I’m in, I’m involved.
I just can’t sit through a class without asking questions or getting involved in some form of discussion. Just like I generally can’t read blog posts without digging into the comments section too.
It’s not just in academic situations either.
I have always hated conflict, but if there’s ever a fight around me I’m generally in it - usually trying to stop it and calm the situation down (a trait that has labelled me crazy by many friends over the years).
I also prefer to have the stress and the big challenges in most any situation on my shoulders (my self-confidence, or ego if you prefer, always thinks I can handle it).
Because of this trait, and being self-aware of my inability to sit idle in almost every situation, I actively avoid paying attention to things that I *know* will be slippery slopes (for my sanity)…things like politics, daily news, and religious debate (and honestly I don’t feel like I miss out or suffer for avoiding these things at all).
So anyway - seeing Seth’s numbers, and being the type that just can help from getting involved, I was just a bit surprised to find out how uncommon that trait appears to be. Especially since I believe most of my self-selected group around NYC tech is *very* much the “can’t help but get involved” type (but clearly I’m living in my own little filter bubble)
What about you? Are you the passive type or are you the type that can’t help but get involved in the moment?
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Kevin has a day job as CTO of Veritonic and is spending nights & weekends hacking on Share Game Tape. You can also check out some of his open source code on GitHub or connect with him on Twitter @falicon or via email at kevin at falicon.com.
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