BIO: Kim Scott is the author of Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity and Just Work: How to Root Out Bias, Prejudice, and Bullying to Build a Kick-ass Culture of Inclusivity, and she is a co-founder of the company, Radical Candor.
STORY: Kim got an idea and $2 million from a friend to build an app for her company Radical Candor. What Kim didn’t realize was that the app was doing the exact opposite of what Radical Candor aimed to do.
LEARNING: Just because somebody offers you money doesn’t mean you should take it. Don’t throw good money after bad. Don’t grow for growth’s sake.
“If it’s too good to be true, keep asking questions before you jump.”
Kim Scott is the author of Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity and Just Work: How to Root Out Bias, Prejudice, and Bullying to Build a Kick-ass Culture of Inclusivity, and she is a co-founder of the company, Radical Candor. Kim was a CEO coach at Dropbox, Qualtrics, Twitter, and other tech companies. She was a member of the faculty at Apple University and, before that, led AdSense, YouTube, and DoubleClick teams at Google.
Worst investment ever
Kim had just finished writing Radical Candor, but it was going to be published a few months later. So she had some downtime. One time Kim was having lunch with a friend who’s an investor in Silicon Valley, and she told him about the book. The friend suggested that Kim considers building an app to help people change their habits and be radically candid. He said he’d give her $2 million. Kim thought this was a good idea.
Kim built one app, and it didn’t work. She created a second app, and it didn’t work. Then made a third version of the app, which still didn’t work. Then one day, Kim was watching her daughter and son perform a musical in a theater, filming it on her phone and watching it on the phone. She looked up from her phone and at the actual children, and the emotional impact was totally different. At that moment, Kim realized that the whole point of Radical Candor was to get people to put their telephones away, look each other in the eye, and have real conversations. This app she was building was a value-subtracting platform. Kim decided not to continue building the app. She had spent about half the money her friend had given her at this point.
- Just because somebody offers you money doesn’t mean you should take it. First, stop and think if it’s really necessary.
- If you’re running a business, don’t get pushed to grow too fast.
- That thing that you really love doing that helps you add value to the world, do it.
- Don’t throw good money after bad.
- Don’t grow for growth’s sake.
- Just because something is cheap doesn’t mean you have to buy it.
Slow down a little bit. If it’s too good to be true, it probably is. If something comes too easy, there’s probably something you’re missing.
- To Radicalcandor.com to learn more about what Kim does. If you’re curious about the different ways that bias, prejudice, and bullying masquerade as feedback, go to justworktogether.com and figure out how to root out those problems.
No.1 goal for the next 12 months
Kim’s number one goal for the next 12 months is to spend 80% of her time writing her new novel.
“Go forth and solicit feedback. That’ll keep you out of more trouble than anything else.”
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