I’m flying home from Europe now (by way of Reykjavik) and because of this, have a whole lot of time to catch up on things. I’ve spent the majority of the day writing a couple of plan docs relating to a number of our portfolio companies and then chatting about them.
In every endeavor, whether it is a startup, a household, a venture company, or anything, viewpoints drift over time. Things get busy, and all of us get focused on executing. And things can get a bit out of alignment. A little out of alignment isn’t a issue, and of course we’re constantly course adjusting as we go. A lot out of alignment, or small bits of misalignment, as time passes, that are not addressed, can cause difficulties.
And while important ideas become discovered this way, it’s also easy to leave thoughts half-baked, or queries half-answered (if they’re fully articulated at all). When I have time, I find that attempting to outline a complicated topic in one document is a very helpful step in regaining alignment and ensuring we’re seeing the entire picture the same way. That is what I have been doing now.
This gets harder the more multifaceted a job is, the larger a team or business is, and the more money that is being spent (especially in long-lead-time things like hardware). Our job as investors is a bit simpler: we will need to assist the CEO do the aforementioned.
Part of growing alignment is having the ideal communication channels open. For me personally, I get a great deal of this through chat/sms/signal. For those people I work most closely with, that is the most open bloodline of ideas in evolution. I believe this is particularly true for me since I am most often not physically with who I am working with the majority of the time. So, as I think about it, I often remain most aligned with the people and jobs where I have the best conversation connection. A challenge here, of course, is that everybody works in various ways. But that will work the best for me, and I believe for the people I have the simplest time working with, for them also.
But whatever the mechanism or method, the key moment is recognizing that you are out of alignment in the first location. It’s actually a fantastic sense, because its a sign to do some work.