Scott Belsky (@scottbelsky) joins Erik to talk about his new book The Messy Middle: Finding Your Way Through the Hardest and Most Crucial Part of Any Bold Venture. Scott is Chief Product Officer at Adobe and was CEO and co-founder of Behance. He’s also an early stage investor.
Scott discusses his experience founding, scaling and selling Behance, then working as a venture capitalist, early stage investor and as CPO at Adobe. He talks about what he means by “the messy middle” and talks about the three stages of “navigating the volatility” of the messy middle.
He points out that the mission of the company is not going to keep you engaged eternally and that you need to “hack the reward system” instead. Erik asks how to know whether to quit or keep going and what some of the lessons he learned as an early stage investor are. Scott talks about the crucial importance of honesty and candor among team members and the self-awareness required to decide what one’s next career move should be.
He explains why running a company can be like driving a van with all your team members, but with the windows blacked out — requiring you as leader to keep your team up to date on what is going on and narrate to them where you are as a company. He also talks about the hidden benefits of friction in a company, why when starting a company you should focus on empathy for users rather than passion for solving a problem, and the techniques he uses to remains productive.
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Venture Stories is brought to you by Village Global, is hosted by co-founder and partner, Erik Torenberg and is produced by Brett Bolkowy.
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