Friday, October 24, 2014

✔ It's all about passion! - Passion 3: Product [part 3]

Note: This is the 12th excerpt from my book "It's all about passion" which I wrote and shared as a gift to my readers and my Nozbe customers on my 35th birthday. You can get the entire digital ebook (PDF, Mobi or ePub) for free or buy from Amazon (all proceeds go to charity).

I will be publishing the entire book as a series of blog posts over the next weeks here every Friday, so you can read it bit by bit (I know you might be too busy to read an entire book at once). I'm also doing it to be able to "talk to you" about each chapter in the comments section below, so make sure to post your feedback, questions and your passion-related stories in the comments. Thank you for your passion!

"It's all about passion!" - The 7 types of passion I discovered over 7 years of running my productivity startup

It's all about passion - 12

Passion 3: Product

Find a mission or slogan or headline for your product

Out of my passion for Nozbe came our main "slogan" which says: "Simply Get Everything Done!".

It seems trivial, but each part of that sentence stands for something:

  • Simply - our product needs to be simple. People should be able to use it without a manual. All the decisions we make should go towards this goal. Too many taps? Too many clicks? Not simple enough? How to simplify this? We keep on asking this questions every day.
  • Get Done - our product needs to help people complete things, finish stuff. Many to-do or project management apps focus on the "management" part too much. They let users fiddle too much with their tasks and projects. We are not a "task manager", we are a "task doer" - with Nozbe you get things done first, and manage stuff later.
  • Everything - our product works for both your personal as well as professional life. While logged in to my Nozbe account I manage both my company as well as my family projects and tasks. We run customer support, product development and everything else through Nozbe - our product should be versatile enough to help us do all we need to accomplish our goals. That's why we also integrate Nozbe with Dropbox, Box, Evernote and other apps.

With our new Nozbe 2.0 we took it even to a new level by nicknaming this release "OneNozbe". What it means is that Nozbe should feel the same way on the mobile platforms as well as on the desktop ones. Whenever we make a UI decision, we keep asking ourselves how it would impact other devices, how would it work on larger or smaller screen sizes. It has to "feel" as OneNozbe. Same application, same feel, but created perfectly for each screen size and device.

Friday, October 17, 2014

✔ It's all about passion! - Passion 3: Product [part 2]

Note: This is the 11th excerpt from my book "It's all about passion" which I wrote and shared as a gift to my readers and my Nozbe customers on my 35th birthday. You can get the entire digital ebook (PDF, Mobi or ePub) for free or buy from Amazon (all proceeds go to charity).

I will be publishing the entire book as a series of blog posts over the next weeks here every Friday, so you can read it bit by bit (I know you might be too busy to read an entire book at once). I'm also doing it to be able to "talk to you" about each chapter in the comments section below, so make sure to post your feedback, questions and your passion-related stories in the comments. Thank you for your passion!

"It's all about passion!" - The 7 types of passion I discovered over 7 years of running my productivity startup

It's all about passion - 11

Passion 3: Product

Learn to say NO

Saying NO is a skill. Especially in relationships. I'm this kind of person who'd always want to make everyone happy and I used to say YES all the time. Until my commitments list just grew so big that I simply couldn't keep up with it and almost blew out. Every relationship counselor will tell you that you've got to be assertive - you have to know when it's perfectly OK to say no and how to do it in order not to hurt the other person's feelings.

Saying NO to feature requests is one of the most important skills a startup team can master.

When users are passionate about your product, they'll send you lots of feature requests. It's a good thing. You should read them and reply. But it doesn't mean you're supposed to say YES to all these requests.

Friday, October 10, 2014

✔ It's all about passion! - Passion 3: Product [part 1]

Note: This is the 10th excerpt from my book "It's all about passion" which I wrote and shared as a gift to my readers and my Nozbe customers on my 35th birthday. You can get the entire digital ebook (PDF, Mobi or ePub) for free or buy from Amazon (all proceeds go to charity).

I will be publishing the entire book as a series of blog posts over the next weeks here every Friday, so you can read it bit by bit (I know you might be too busy to read an entire book at once). I'm also doing it to be able to "talk to you" about each chapter in the comments section below, so make sure to post your feedback, questions and your passion-related stories in the comments. Thank you for your passion!

"It's all about passion!" - The 7 types of passion I discovered over 7 years of running my productivity startup

It's all about passion - 10

Passion 3: Product

"Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work." - Aristotle

You're building a great product, right?

Every startup builds a product or service. A service is a product itself so let's cut it short to the fact, that whatever your startup is building, is a product. Facebook, Twitter, Google Search, Yahoo Portal, eBay... these are all products just like Apple's Macbook Air or Mac OSX.

My Nozbe is my product. I built it because I needed it. Not because I wanted to prove something to someone, or because I wanted to earn money. I needed this product and I built it... and more than 7 years in, I keep on building it.

Every startup product is in constant "beta"

When Gmail (Google Mail) launched in beta it stayed like this for more than two years... and then they removed the "beta" sign... although they could have kept it indefinitely. Gmail keeps on evolving, changing and getting better. It really is at beta stage all of the time.

Monday, October 6, 2014

✔ It's all about passion! - Passion 2: Solution [part 2]

Note: This is the 9th excerpt from my book "It's all about passion" which I wrote and shared as a gift to my readers and my Nozbe customers on my 35th birthday. You can get the entire digital ebook (PDF, Mobi or ePub) for free or buy from Amazon (all proceeds go to charity).

I will be publishing the entire book as a series of blog posts over the next weeks here every Friday, so you can read it bit by bit (I know you might be too busy to read an entire book at once). I'm also doing it to be able to "talk to you" about each chapter in the comments section below, so make sure to post your feedback, questions and your passion-related stories in the comments. Thank you for your passion!

"It's all about passion!" - The 7 types of passion I discovered over 7 years of running my productivity startup

It's all about passion - 9

Passion for a Solution

You don't have to bet everything

Many startup experts tell you to just quit your job and bet it all on your grand idea and you'll succeed. Most guys who tell you this have actually never made the leap. I'd tell you to do the contrary. Keep your day job and work on your idea on the side and see how it goes.

You'll have plenty of time to make the leap and take it full time. I started my Nozbe journey when I was married and we were already thinking about having our first child with my wife. And we already had a mortgage. I couldn't make the big leap as I had to pay the bills.

I'm not the only one here. 37signals, the now-famous web-app company was still doing the client work the first year they launched Basecamp - their flagship project management solution. Only after one full year they decided to "ditch the clients" and focus on their web-app. Bob Parsons, now CEO of GoDaddy - the world's most successful domain registrar, started his business of accounting software in the evenings and he failed to get traction his first three years. He persisted and after a few years sold his company to Intuit for millions of dollars.

Only after a year of running Nozbe I decided to take the leap and to work on Nozbe full-time. I hired my first programmer mid-2008 and now after all these years he's still with me and he's my CTO (Chief Technical Officer) and we are working together perfectly. I also hired my first customer-support person and now she runs my entire customer support department. We are like three musketeers.

Friday, September 26, 2014

✔ It's all about passion! - Passion 2: Solution [part 1]

Note: This is the 8th excerpt from my book "It's all about passion" which I wrote and shared as a gift to my readers and my Nozbe customers on my 35th birthday. You can get the entire digital ebook (PDF, Mobi or ePub) for free or buy from Amazon (all proceeds go to charity).

I will be publishing the entire book as a series of blog posts over the next weeks here every Friday, so you can read it bit by bit (I know you might be too busy to read an entire book at once). I'm also doing it to be able to "talk to you" about each chapter in the comments section below, so make sure to post your feedback, questions and your passion-related stories in the comments. Thank you for your passion!

"It's all about passion!" - The 7 types of passion I discovered over 7 years of running my productivity startup

It's all about passion - 8

Passion for a Solution

"Visionary people face the same problems everyone else faces; but rather than get paralyzed by their problems, visionaries immediately commit themselves to finding a solution." - Bill Hybels

Just do it. Solve it.

This is the key component to the success of a startup. After all, the startup in theory should be solving some real-life problems and making people's lives all around the world easier.

That's why it's so important to understand your startup's mission as way to solve a particular problem the best way possible. To make sure you're really doing it right, you need to be truly passionate about solving this problem.

Scratch your own itch

The best way to find a problem to solve is to actually look at the stuff that's bothering you and see if you can make it better. Just see if you can scratch what's itching you the most. Usually that's the best start. If you're genuinely interested in solving the particular problem, chances are you'll have more passion and drive to pursue a solution and maybe even build a startup business around it.

Just see what's really bothering you and do some research for available solutions out there. See what works and what doesn't and what is really popular. Chances are you will be thinking: "I know I can do better than that!". If that's the case, go for it.

Friday, September 19, 2014

✔ It's all about passion! - Chapter 2 - Passion 1: Money [part 3]

Note: This is a 7th excerpt from my book "It's all about passion" which I wrote and shared as a gift to my readers and my Nozbe customers on my 35th birthday. You can get the entire digital ebook (PDF, Mobi or ePub) for free or buy from Amazon (all proceeds go to charity).

I will be publishing the entire book as a series of blog posts over the next weeks here every Friday, so you can read it bit by bit (I know you might be too busy to read an entire book at once). I'm also doing it to be able to "talk to you" about each chapter in the comments section below, so make sure to post your feedback, questions and your passion-related stories in the comments. Thank you for your passion!

"It's all about passion!" - The 7 types of passion I discovered over 7 years of running my productivity startup

Chapter 2 (part 3) - Passion 1: Money

It's all about passion - chapt 2_3

Money drives passion in a healthy way

When you love your product and your customers share the love by sharing with you their hard-earned cash, it steams up passion from both sides. You're even more passionate about doing what you do as you get this confirmation in something tangible also known as "money".

I've found that to be very true in my case. The more I earn with what I do the more motivated I am to make my business even better, more reliable and strong. Money, when approached wisely is an enormous motivator that helps you drive your passion forward and you share it with your customers along the way.

Earning money is also a skill - learn it

Asking for money is not easy. Designing a product in a way it entices the people to pay you and learning the pricing the hard way (by overcharging or under-charging) is not as straightforward as it seems.

I've met many startup founders who gave up way to easily because they didn't see the affirmation of their work in a form of healthy income coming in because it doesn't "just come" easily.

Friday, September 12, 2014

✔ It's all about passion! - Chapter 2 - Passion 1: Money [part 2]

Note: This is a 6th excerpt from my book "It's all about passion" which I wrote and shared as a gift to my readers and my Nozbe customers on my 35th birthday. You can get the entire digital ebook (PDF, Mobi or ePub) for free or buy from Amazon (all proceeds go to charity).

I will be publishing the entire book as a series of blog posts over the next weeks here every Friday, so you can read it bit by bit (I know you might be too busy to read an entire book at once). I'm also doing it to be able to "talk to you" about each chapter in the comments section below, so make sure to post your feedback, questions and your passion-related stories in the comments. Thank you for your passion!

"It's all about passion!" - The 7 types of passion I discovered over 7 years of running my productivity startup

Chapter 2 (part 2) - Passion 1: Money

It's all about passion - chapt 2_2

When you're only motivated by money - you will lose

Everything was going as I had planned. Then suddenly one competitor showed up. And another. And one more... and my unique "business opportunity" space started getting crowded.

And these other guys were building a better product than mine! And with more features! Better design, offer, whatever the bottom line was, I started to lose ground.

The thing is, if you're only motivated by the money, you're going to lose interest quickly. This is what happened to me. I started giving up. It was supposed to be an easy business! I was supposed to be rich and famous! What gives?

Friday, September 5, 2014

✔ It's all about passion! - Chapter 2 - Passion 1: Money [Part 1]

Note: This is a 5th excerpt from my book "It's all about passion" which I wrote and shared as a gift to my readers and my Nozbe customers on my 35th birthday. You can get the entire digital ebook (PDF, Mobi or ePub) for free or buy from Amazon (all proceeds go to charity).

I will be publishing the entire book as a series of blog posts over the next weeks here every Friday, so you can read it bit by bit (I know you might be too busy to read an entire book at once). I'm also doing it to be able to "talk to you" about each chapter in the comments section below, so make sure to post your feedback, questions and your passion-related stories in the comments. Thank you for your passion!

"It's all about passion!" - The 7 types of passion I discovered over 7 years of running my productivity startup

Chapter 2 (part 1) - Passion 1: Money

It's all about passion - chapter 2.1

"Money was never a big motivation for me, except as a way to keep score. The real excitement is playing the game." - Donald Trump, investor, author of "The Art of the Deal"

Money makes the world go around... kind of.

Money rules the world we live in right now. No doubt about that. But it's not what it's all about. Money is just a means to an end - a happy, fulfilled life.

It sounds nice in definition but the media want us to believe otherwise. In the consumerist world we live in, it's all about the money - it gives you power, cars, houses... the media wants us to believe we can buy ourselves a way into happiness.

The same applies to the startup world. Young, aspiring entrepreneurs are reading high-profile tech blogs where they learn about other young guys cashing it big time with huge company valuations, amazingly big venture capital rounds and fantastic financing opportunities where millions of dollars are just laying around there to be picked up.

These big sums of money only make young startup founders blind. They have very often never even seen more than a few thousand of dollars at a time, yet they seem to subconsciously redirect their motivation towards "getting rich quick... or die trying" (as the rap star 50cent would say).

I was like this when I graduated from college. I wanted to make it big for fame and fortune. And I failed several times to finally understand that to be passionate about money you need to approach it from a totally different angle.

Friday, August 29, 2014

✔ It's all about passion! - Chapter 1 - 7 types of passion [Part 2]

Note: This is a 4th excerpt from my book "It's all about passion" which I wrote and shared as a gift to my readers and my Nozbe customers on my 35th birthday. You can get the entire digital ebook (PDF, Mobi or ePub) for free or buy from Amazon (all proceeds go to charity).

I will be publishing the entire book as a series of blog posts over the next weeks here every Friday, so you can read it bit by bit (I know you might be too busy to read an entire book at once). I'm also doing it to be able to "talk to you" about each chapter in the comments section below, so make sure to post your feedback, questions and your passion-related stories in the comments. Thank you for your passion!

"It's all about passion!" - The 7 types of passion I discovered over 7 years of running my productivity startup

Chapter 1 - 7 types of passion, part 2

It's all about passion - chapter 1.2

There are several types of passion

Passion shows up in many shapes and forms and you just don't get to be passionate about one thing or one aspect of your company. There are many types of passion and over here I'd like to comment on the ones I have discovered and that have played the major role in my success.

Ready? Let's dive into this and hopefully inspire you to build your passionate startup.

Friday, August 22, 2014

✔ It's all about passion! - Chapter 1 - 7 types of passion [Part 1]

Note: This is a third excerpt from my book "It's all about passion" which I wrote and shared as a gift to my readers and my Nozbe customers on my 35th birthday. You can get the entire digital ebook (PDF, Mobi or ePub) for free or buy from Amazon (all proceeds go to charity).

I will be publishing the entire book as a series of blog posts over the next weeks here every Friday, so you can read it bit by bit (I know you might be too busy to read an entire book at once). I'm also doing it to be able to "talk to you" about each chapter in the comments section below, so make sure to post your feedback, questions and your passion-related stories in the comments. Thank you for your passion!

"It's all about passion!" - The 7 types of passion I discovered over 7 years of running my productivity startup

Chapter 1 - 7 types of passion

"Passion is not something you go after as an end in itself. It's rather a symptom of your engagement with anything into which you are fully immersed. It's also not something you usually know you have. Others notice your full involvement with something and they call it ‘passion’. I just call it doing what I feel like doing."

David Allen, the originator of Getting Things Done

It's all about passion - chapter 1.1

How my dreams came true

I discovered the Internet in 1996 (half-way through high school). Wow. Being able to connect from the comfort of my home to a person on the other side of the globe was magical. With this, I thought, anything was possible.

I started college in 1998 and began to understand how business could be done over the Internet. Going through the "Internet bubble of 2000" I discovered the concept of a "startup" and of course, a few months later a concept of a "bubble" and "a failed startup". Somewhere in between there was another concept of "new economy" which I never understood so let's just leave it at that.

Even though most of the Internet startups failed at that time, I was lured into a dream of running a company that could exist only on the Internet and offer products or services to people all over the world digitally. I thought it wasn't a "new economy" but it most definitely was a new "paradigm shift".

Friday, August 15, 2014

✔ It's all about passion! - Introduction [part 2]

Note: This is another excerpt from my book "It's all about passion" which I wrote and shared as a gift to my readers and my Nozbe customers on my 35th birthday. You can get the entire digital ebook (PDF, Mobi or ePub) for free or buy from Amazon (all proceeds go to charity).

I will be publishing the entire book as a series of blog posts over the next weeks here every Friday, so you can read it bit by bit (I know you might be too busy to read an entire book at once). I'm also doing it to be able to "talk to you" about each chapter in the comments section below, so make sure to post your feedback, questions and your passion-related stories in the comments. Thank you for your passion!

"It's all about passion!" - The 7 types of passion I discovered over 7 years of running my productivity startup

Introduction - continued...

"Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you." - Oprah Winfrey

It's all about passion - intro 2

My first .COM

I got us the cheapest web hosting account I could find, my very own .COM domain and started coding away. We used old-school FTP to transfer files, chatted over ICQ, sent emails back and forth — the online collaboration was at full speed and we were making our new project a reality. When I wasn’t in my dorm room, we’d send text messages on our mobile phones. Just think about it, it was the first time I got myself my very own mobile phone! Yes, I was amazed how much Victor and I could get done although we weren’t physically in the same place or working at the same time.

We also chatted with our friend, Simon, who was already a successful Internet entrepreneur at that time. We got lots of inspiration from him and were blown away by his small Poland-based company making it big in the USA. We wanted to be like him. He is still my mentor to this day.

It was on the eve of dot-com boom when we launched our product — a small, social email reminder service. We started to charge $5 a month for it. Got a few first customers… and then we discovered such reminder services are offered free from most of the major Internet portals. We didn’t manage to get many more customers. Our product was great but not many people wanted to pay for it. Bummer.

Friday, August 8, 2014

✔ It's all about passion! - Introduction [part 1]

Note: This is an excerpt from my book "It's all about passion" which I wrote and shared as a gift to my readers and my Nozbe customers on my 35th birthday. You can get the entire digital ebook (PDF, Mobi or ePub) for free or buy from Amazon (all proceeds go to charity).

I will be publishing the entire book as a series of blog posts over the next weeks here every Friday, so you can read it bit by bit (I know you might be too busy to read an entire book at once). I'm also doing it to be able to "talk to you" about each chapter in the comments section below, so make sure to post your feedback, questions and your passion-related stories in the comments. Thank you for your passion!

"It's all about passion!"

The 7 types of passion I discovered over 7 years of running my productivity startup

It's all about passion - cover

Introduction: My first passionate startup, Part 1

"People say you have to have a lot of passion for what you're doing. It's totally true. The reason is, because it's so hard and if you don't, any rational person would give up. It's really hard. And you have to do it over a sustained period of time. So if you don't love it, if you're not having fun doing it, you don't really love it, you're gonna give up.

It happens to most people actually. If you look at the ones that ended up being successful in the eyes of society and the ones that didn't, often times the ones that were successful loved what they did so they could persevere when it got really tough. The ones that didn't love it, quit. Because they're sane, right? Who would want to put up with this stuff if you don't love it. So it's a lot of hard work and it's a lot of worrying constantly and if you don't love it you're gonna fail. So you gotta love it and you gotta have passion."

  • Steve Jobs, the former CEO of Apple

New college, new passion-seeking adventure...

The fall of 2000 in Germany was chilly, but it wasn’t unbearable. I showed up a few weeks before the new college year started to get to know my new school, new dorm and new city. There I was, a day-long drive away from my home town in Poland, excited to be able to continue my management studies abroad. Just this summer, right before the big move, I finally earned enough money to buy my first laptop computer - a 266 MHz Pentium II Compaq Armada. With my all-new PC, a German dictionary and lots of hopes and dreams, I was ready to start my new adventure and learn new things at this foreign university.

When I settled in my student dormitory and connected my laptop to the local University network, I was literally blown away by the speed of the Internet. Being used to a dial-up modem at home, it was like entering a different league. The applications I immediately downloaded and started using were the Opera browser (the fastest browser on earth at that point), Napster (free music!) and ICQ (to chat with fellow students as well as friends and family back home).

How do I find my passion? My calling? My raison de vivre?

You see, at high school I was miserable because most of my friends knew exactly what they wanted to do with their lives (they wanted to become doctors, lawyers, teachers... you get the idea) and I had no clue. Even worse - I was a very good student - I basically had grades A at everything - but I wasn't "great" at anything. I was just a very good all-arounder. It may sound cool now, but it wasn't helping me decide what I wanted to do with my life.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Build a passionate startup!... or 7 types of passion

I'm writing a book on passion and I think you are going to love it. Here's what it's all about:

"It's hard to tell with these Internet startups if they're really interested in building companies or if they're just interested in the money. I can tell you, though: If they don't really want to build a company, they won't luck into it. That's because it's so hard that if you don't have a passion, you'll give up."

Steve Jobs

Image

How my dreams came true

When I discovered the Internet in 1996 (half-way through high school) I felt inspired. Being able to connect from the comfort of my home to a person on the other side of the globe was magical. With this, I thought, anything was possible.

I started college in 1998 and began to understand how the business could be done over the Internet. Going through the "Internet bubble of 2000" for the first time I discovered the concept of a "startup" and of course, a few months later a concept of a "bubble" and "a failed startup". Somewhere in between there was another concept of "new economy" which I never understood so let's just leave it at that.

Even though most of the Internet startups failed at that time, I was lured into a dream of running a company that could exist only on the Internet and offer products or services to people all over the world digitally. I thought it wasn't a "new economy" but it was a new "paradigm shift".

I graduated in 2003 and even though I was advised otherwise, I decided not to go to work for a big corporation. I had a great resume, spoke several languages, had a chance at a great career in a multi-national company. But I just wasn't interested. I had a dream and I was desperate to make it a reality.

I started small and opened up my web consultancy (focused on e-commerce and Internet marketing) and apart from working for many clients and helping them sell their merchandise over the Internet I kept on building my small "startup projects" on the side.

I failed several times (which I'll explain later in more detail) until I finally succeeded by launching Nozbe in 2007. It was the moment of the Web2.0 "wave" and an idea of having, running or working for an Internet Startup became popular again.

Everyone wants to build a startup

What I soon realized (right after launching my startup) was that in countless cities and campuses in almost every corner of the world young entrepreneurs started to meet to talk about startups. These were (are) very informal meetings aimed at exchanging ideas and connecting to build fantastic companies of the future... together.

I launched my startup completely alone (I was a one-man-shop) and in a city I didn't know well (back then, we just moved to Warsaw, the capital of Poland with my wife). That's why talking to like-minded folks felt like fun and I started participating in many of these "startup meetings" (or "barcamps" as they call it) and had a great time learning from my peers and sharing my experiences.

What I quickly discovered was that I wasn't so special. My "startup friends" were making the same mistakes I was, repeating them at a rate similar to mine. All that while trying to build something great. Or so they thought. Or so we all thought.

However, as the common knowledge has it: "most startup fail" and I was witnessing many startup failures over the past few years.

Ultimately it's all about passion

There are many reasons why startups (and any other projects for that matter) fail but what I discovered was that most of the time it all comes down to one major reason: Passion... or the lack of it.

Passion is what inspires people and what gives you the drive to move forward. It gives you a reason to live. Working on a startup takes a huge amount of time and requires sacrifices in your private life with your family and friends. You have to work on a project you don't know if ever succeeds and if your effort really ever pays off.

That's why it is so important to be passionate about what you're doing. Without this, you are ten times more likely to fail.

There are several types of passion

Passion shows up in many shapes and forms and you just don't get to be passionate about one thing or one aspect of your company. There are many types of passion and over here I'd like to comment on the ones I discovered and that played the major role in my success. Ready? Let's dive into this and hopefully inspire you to build a passionate startup.

1. Passion for the Money

This one is very important... but it's increasingly important to approach money from the right angle. When you're "doing it for the money and the fame" you're not passionate about money, you're just plain greedy.

Money is crucial for running a healthy business and it should be viewed as a means to an end and not a target in itself. It's a benchmark and earning money is a tough skill to master.

2. Passion for the Solution

I say you should "scratch your own itch" and focus on solving a problem not only you have, but very often thousands upon thousands of people from all around the world suffer from.

When the solution becomes your obsession is where it's at. And it starts with solving the problem in small way and then iterating it all the way until you can solve it for hundreds, thousands or even millions of people all over the world.

3. Passion for the Product

This helps you focus on delivering the best user experience for your customers and ultimately build a product everyone in your target audience wants to use.

You need to use your product daily, tweak it, work on it, be crazy about each detail. You have to be the "product guy" and instead of looking at your competition, you have got to be focused on building the best product you can make that solves the problem you're trying to fix.

4. Passion for the Industry

Your industry is usually not the "startup industry" at all (this is the industry of Venture Capital companies). Your industry is where the problem you're solving is at. In the case of Nozbe I operate in "productivity" industry.

Understanding and being passionate for your industry helps you understand the problem better and gain more insight into your customers and their needs. Ultimately creating a better solution for them. Thanks to this passion you are constantly learning what is working, you have an opportunity to give back to the community and receive from them intangibles like trust, respect and most of all, great know-how. This is where you over-share and out-teach your competition.

5. Passion for Growth

You live, you grow... so you need to be passionate about not standing still but constantly growing. You want to get better, you want your team, your customers and everyone involved to get better and grow.

You need mentors, people who you respect and admire to help you make your decisions, you need to take risks, fail and keep dusting it off and trying again. If you are not constantly moving forward, you're actually taking steps back.

6. Passion to Help

This is a big one. This makes sure you understand your expertise can help others and can make the world a better place. That you're in for the long haul for yourself and everyone around you.

I've been having an amazing experience helping others succeed both in my "startup community" as well as my "productivity community"... as well as "the community" as a whole. You want to give back even more. There's nothing like it. It's the best drug ever.

7. Passion for Synergies

Speaking of drugs, if two drug-addicts meet, they're on an all-time high. Passion attracts Passion - as simple as that. This is exactly what happens when two (or more) passionate people meet. I was surprised whom I got to meet because of the sheer fact that we both shared a passion for something. And we wanted to talk about it, to learn from each other, to hear each others stories... and in many cases even work together to join our passions and create synergies. If you are a passionate person you want to work with passionate people. Sweet.

All these types of passion are related

As you undoubtedly noticed, these types of passion are related to each other and actually grow from one to another... but they are all there. All of them are different and unique in their own way and make your life richer and more fulfilling. There are no shortcuts, it takes time to go through all of these phases and after you've uncovered them all, your journey gets even more interesting. And as they say, "the journey is the ultimate destination".

The element of surprise

If you keep on pursuing your dreams and following your passions, you're in for a treat. Life will surprise you in so many ways that it's beyond belief. After each type of passion I'll try to explain what kind of surprises you can expect from being a passionate person and following your heart.

And it's not just me, I'll be adding examples from people across industries who got surprised many times over by where their passion has taken them. And what they discovered, and who they met, and who discovered them, and which doors got opened for them.

In my journey I'm being constantly surprised by all this. I'm still blown away by how my passion attracts others and helps me achieve a lot more than I thought was possible. How opportunities present themselves that I've never thought were within my reach.


What are your "passion stories"? Share them in the comments!