Details, details, details --
Lecture on Strategy #3: This coming Sunday, 25th March, we'll have our next Lecture on Strategy. This week will most likely be on the different money strategies and styles people employ throughout their lives. It should be a fascinating talk for identifying your own strong and weak points, and the people you would work with.
Note the location will be in the same neighborhood (Shuangjing on Line 10) but we'll be at a different building than the last two weeks. Email sebastian --at-- sebastianmarshall.com to RSVP and for details.
New this week: Roundtable. I'm going to lead a focused roundtable each week for people who attend. We won't film this, but I want to get a discussion going after each talk about, EG, goal-setting, financial planning, spurring creativity, getting more good people in your life, etc. I or one of the other attendees/guests will be leading a roundtable each week immediately following a talk if circumstances permit. This week, we'll do it and it should be good. So, if you've been waiting, come out this week.
If you're in Shanghai or know some awesome people who are, please email me. I've got some errands and connections to make in Shanghai sometime in the next few weeks, and I'd love to have some people to connect with there.
If you asked me what I do, I'd probably give you a nondescript answer and get on to more interesting topics. Fact is, I "do" a lot of different things. This whole "What do you do?" question is a relic from an earlier era, before it was possible to "do" 30 different things. I am not salaried, so I work on my professional, personal, family, and global objectives each day. A little business, a little reading, a little history, a little art, a little self-discipline, a little philosophy, a little technology, a lot of different things.
But if you had to nail me down to three words, I'd say, "I'm a strategist." Nine words? "I'm a strategist. I figure out how to win." 15 words? “I’m a strategist. I figure out what is winning, and then how to get there.”
The first part of strategy is answering the question, "What is winning? What are even working towards? What are our highest level objectives, and why do we have them?" This is typically known as grand strategy.
Grand strategy is figuring out what the goals of an organization or a solo person ought to be. Arguably, this is the hardest part of strategy, because there is no right or wrong answer. It's subjective. And if you work on the wrong stuff, it doesn't matter how good of a job you do at it.
That's worth saying again. It doesn't matter how good of a job you do bringing your vision to reality if your vision was poorly chosen.
I mentioned last week that I had a deadline which I was working towards. I'm going to explain a bit more about this because a) it's consuming my life these days and b) I have the feeling this is going to be the beginning of something big. If it is something big, I think it might be interesting to hear it from the beginning.
What is Y Combinator?
Y Combinator is a "startup accelerator". Since that doesn't mean much, I'll explain how it works. You and your cofounder apply to Y Combinator. If they like you and your startup idea, they give you around $20k in exchange for a small piece of your company.