The Problem with Blogging

I learn new things, and change my mind. But the blog, she is eternal.

Is it better not to speak for fear of inadvertently speaking ill? Probably not, but it seems unnecessary to over expose oneself to critique unless there be some large gain worth the risk. What does one get from blogging? Self expression, I suppose, but that can be gained through good conversations, and with good conversations, there comes an inherent understanding that this is my position now, knowing what I know now, and that is all. There is more empathy from the listener, more of a desire to reach understanding – the gentle grace of giving one the benefit of the doubt because you know their good-willed nature. Alternatively, everyone on the internet is some hideous fiend that needs to be proven wrong and argued with at length, or so it seems.

Aside from a more approachable attitude between people engaged in face-to-face conversation, there’s also the ability to have context. For example, in the future someone can say, “In 2016 Cassie Wallender wrote, ‘everyone on the internet is some hideous fiend that needs to be proven wrong’.” And they would be technically accurate, but missing the flow of my statement entirely.

So I struggle baring my soul online. Because I enjoy writing, but this seems like an abysmal trap.

Risk and Privilege

To quit one’s job and start a company is a terrifying thing, a huge risk.

But let’s reframe this common concept with gratitude: to be able to quit one’s job and start a company is a huge privilege.

I feel so grateful for this opportunity to embrace the risk. Not that I haven’t worked for it, but there are so many things that could have worked against me but did not. Along the way I had amazing family, friends, colleagues, bosses, and mentors who believed in me and helped me gain the confidence to take this plunge. I believed I could partly because those who said, “You can!” always out numbered those who said, “You can’t!”

So thank you, my dear ones, for all your support and encouragement, you’ve changed my perspective on what I can accomplish.  And thank you to the founders I’ve worked for, for showing me by example what can be achieved.

Please be patient with me as I may be mostly unavailable for the next ten years.  And never stop telling others they can do it. :-)

Never Check Out

I see so many people check out their last two weeks (or months!) on the job.  I have a personal policy against it. Why?

1.) Empathy
You wouldn’t want someone checking out on you.  If you are somewhere, be there. Help smooth transitions, document tribal knowledge, and set those you leave behind up for success as much as possible.

2.) Reputation
You’ve established a reputation for years.  Don’t blow it away in your last month. Once I’ve left a company, I want to be remembered fondly as a person of great work and high integrity.

A New Year, A New Practice

Many a year I’ve thought I should keep a list of the books I’m consuming for some sort of personal year end reflection, maybe even documenting movies I’m seeing (if they are lucky).  Unfortunately, this thought comes usually about five months into the year.  Not this year.  Finally, my ideas and timing coincide.  So the tracking starts today, and my future self can someday properly reminisce about the year I’m about to have.

So, my first entry: the first of January, and I devoured Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 today. In a nutshell that does not do it service, this 1953 novel tells tale of a shallow and violent future society which has traded in quality of thought for entertainment, in an arguably prophetic way that stands as both a warning to America and a love letter to ideas. It’s a classic for a reason, but it’s not just the beautifully poetic writing. The ideas contained within resonated with me so strongly that I felt essentially connected to it and the author – I feel somehow that I’ve robbed my past self by not reading it earlier, and I could give no stronger recommendation to a book.

It’s late, and has been a long first day of the year, but a beautiful start of the year. Here’s to ideas in 2016.

“You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.”  – Ray Bradbury

says hi.