A kid who wants to play golf looks up to Tiger Woods and not Derek Jeter. That makes sense but in business we use sports analogies when we should use business analogies.
More importantly, in business we need to see what other people have done to learn from their mistakes and successes.
At Soupgiant we call ourselves Web Producers. We produce the Web. So I try to look for people who have successes in that field. People like Jason Calacanis and Leo Laporte have built success for themselves out of the web.
They could be compared to sporting greats like Tiger Woods and Derek Jeter. They never gave up, they tried to overcome their obstacles and they worked damn hard to become who they are. But there are more differences than similarities.
The difference in business is the risks we take. It can take between five and ten years to know if a business is ever going to be successful. In sport the wins and losses are almost instantaneous by comparison.
In business you have to sit with a decision for years before you see fruit. It could be years in which there is very little income. It’s also years in which you could be earning more money elsewhere.
It’s all about context. There’s no point in trying to be the Ian Healy of the Web. He was a cricketer and there is no comparison.
Everybody who succeeds in their area works hard. The people who succeed in our area work hard doing what we do.
It’s time we started sharing our own stories, our own opinions and our discussions of the risks we take. We can learn from each other in our own areas by making comparisons that actually make sense.
So we have this blog. Jason Calacanis has a mailing list that is worth subscribing to (even if he does make too many sports analogies). Leo Laporte has the TWiT network of Podcasts. 37 Signals has the Signal vs Noise blog and two books. Molly Holzschlag has her (rarely updated) blog and many books. Jeffrey Zeldman has a blog, a video podcast and many books.
Those are some of the people we look to for advice, examples, inspiration and experience. We’d love to hear you share some yours.