Start-Up Wisdom from Yammer Co-Founder George Ishi (WWOTS Show Interview)
Our friends at the WWOTS show sat down with Yammer Co-Founder George Ishi. Yammer sold to Microsoft in 2012 for $1.2 billion after rapid growth and success. George is renown i n the industry for his willingness to shut down a company and reverse course if necessary. Here are some of the major highlights from the original interview. Enjoy!
Should I Pursue This Idea I Have?
George opens the interview with “the easy answer is you know when you know , but that’s not enough.” It takes more intention. It’s about self awareness and answering the hard questions such as “how does this fit within the broader narrative of my life?” What are my unique skills and giftings? What are the purposes I want to accomplish? There are a lot of things you CAN do, but what SHOULD you do? When things are getting tough at your start up…and they will….you need to be able to hold fast to the real life story you are telling to power you through those rough patches. Figure it out now, identify the vision for your life and THEN do your business .
There isn’t One Unifying Thread or Pattern to Successful Ventures
“The more I do this, the more I realize the less it has to do with me”, George proudly boasts. So take comfort in knowing that you are not in ultimate control over everything and let that give you a little peace of mind. Letting go of the idea that you have absolute control over your campaigns, products and corporate destiny will allow you to flourish and prosper creatively. It will also save you from overemphasizing any one aspect of the business at the expense of another. If a co-founder of a billion dollar company can acknowledge this lack of sovereignty, so can you!
Do What You Are Made To Do
“When you have found your true expertise is, everything falls into place”. George shares his story of how he fell out of engineering and how when he started design, he just flourished. The right thing took over and he just knew in that moment that was what he was supposed to do. How do we know if we are doing the right thing? One tip George stresses, “when you are talking within your expertise, it will be so clear and evident and people will resonate with it. Business is work, and certainly entails doing a lot of things we don’t want to do, but in the larger scheme of things it pays off big time to find out what you’re naturally skilled with and to go after that 100%.
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