The seven years i spent in the US, one of my great learnings there was “life is super simple in the USA”. Push button automatic simple. If you do A, B WILL happen. Turn the switch on, light will come on. Turn the tap on, water will come out. Call 911, cops will show up. Its not “rocket science”, things just work as they are supposed to.
And they have the coolest “americanisms” that you can use in any situation, particularly in startups. Here are my top favourites. And they sum up the life of a startup.
# Drinking your own Kool Aid
Believing in your product/company/media hype/service so much that you lose all objectivity. Really, you are the guy who is mixing the Kool aid, and drinking it too. Its ok to be the Kool Aid mixer, just dont drink too much of it. When the product utterly fails and you cant believe why the market didnt lap it up, all of you can gather around a beer and say, “oh well we were drinking our own Kool Aid”.
# Eating your dog food
Do you or your team use the product or service you are pitching. If not, boss, you are not eating your dog food. I have no idea what it means, but so cool to say it. Want an escalation matrix at the vendor side, hmm, i think we need to start eating our own dog food.
# There is no such thing as a free lunch
Any time something looks like a great deal or offer, repeat this to yourself.
# Joe Shmoe or Fancy Shmancy or Google Shmoogle
I guess you just replace the first part with “Sh” and it become a deorgatory term applied generically to a person or a company or thing.
Pain that is so severe, that ….. Anyways, most startups are founded to whooppass. Constantly ask yourself, are you whoopping ass or being a lame ass, which will put things in perspective.
# Shit happens
This is when something completely unexpected happens. This sort of explains all kinds mistakes, yours or others. You just have to shrug your shoulders and say – Shit Happens.
# Heads Up
You are going to be in big trouble in a very short time. You can do something or get out of the way. The finance guy should be doing this all the time.
& the ultimate one
# When the Shit hits the Fan
The point at which “the shit hits the fan” is the point at which an already unstable situation (“Shit happens” kind) devolves into utter chaos, often in spite of–or even due to–your entire team’s attempt to control it.
If you are a startup planning to the whoopp the ass of the big players and be the next joe shmoe, and are drinking your own Kool Aid without eating your dog food, no matter how much heads up you give, shit will always happen. All you have to make sure is that the shit never hits the fan.
Happy 4th of July!