All posts by Yana

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Happy New Year from Yana and the NTR Lab Crew

 

A new year is upon us, and you know what that means: you have only a few hours left to accomplish all that you planned to do in 2016.

Assuming you are still sane and didn’t use up all those hours, then you should spend the rest of your time before midnight creating your shiny new lists for 2017.

This may also be the year you decide that taking the “someday/somehow” approach — what I call the Linda effect — isn’t the best approach.

FYI, Linda is the Coen Brothers movie character in Burn After Reading who wanted to have plastic surgery. She didn’t think much about how she would get it or even why she wanted it. As it turned out, it involved blackmail, betrayal and murder.

Not what Linda was expecting, but she did get her surgery. (It’s typical Coen black humor and I love their movies.)

Here’s how I avoid being Linda:

  • I write down each goal in detail;
  • that includes some abstract (fantasy?) wishes, such as, “I want to meet a unicorn” or achieving world peace.
  • Next, I write down the concrete steps I need to take to accomplish the goals or help realize the dreams.
  • I do a timeline for each goal; and
  • even try to come up with ideas on exactly how I will do it, knowing that the much will change in the process.

I believe it is important to be very clear when wording my wishes and goals. I know they may morph or change over the year, but I need to start with a very clear understanding of what they are now.

Finally, I read things such as, how to become mentally stronger or make it like a boss and take the parts that apply to what I want to do, tweaking them as necessary.   

I hope this helps you in crafting your own lists! I also hope you take time to know exactly what you really do want (which may not be the same as your friends and followers), knowing that it will be your own hard work that accomplishes them.

For myself and NTRLab, I wish you a healthy, happy, prosperous and successful 2017. Know that we will work hard to turn your ideas into software every day, except for these days

Holiday Date 2017
New Year January 1-8
Defender of the Fatherland Day February 23-26
Women’s Day March 8
Labor Day April 29-May 1
Victory Day May 6-9
Russia Day June 10-12
Unity Day November 4-6

Meanwhile, we start New Year celebration in our Tomsk and Moscow offices. Here’re some pictures.

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Happy New Year!

Happy holidays, everyone!

Holiday Wishes from Yana

 

I hope 2016 was as good to you as it was to me!

I’d like to share some of my wins, both personal and professional, with you.

I succeeded in both: my job at NTR Lab and my second job as an artist. I became the CMO of NTR Lab (BIG promotion!) and am enjoying my new position. It’s very challenging, but I’m inspired by the fact that I learn more and more everyday.

My company is growing, too. We are now 120 people strong and celebrated our 16 year birthday this year. ( I attached short video from the celebration) Now we are looking forward to serving our clients even better next year.


On the personal side, my band released an album,  a single and a music video, which became very popular among our fans. Plus, we played about 25 concerts all over the Russia. It’s been so much fun and I am really thrilled.

I also took two wonderful trips this year. The first was deep in the Altay Mountains to for a vacation last summer and this month to London with my boss to work at the Tech Crunch Disrupt conference (great fun).
 
I hope you will find time to share your successes this year and your plans for next year with me in comments.
 
Finally, our entire team and I wish you a great holidays and a happy, healthy, prosperous and successful New Year!
 

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My trip to Disrupt London and 46 facts for every entrepreneur

 

I don’t know about you, but last week was crazy for me.

I attended Disrupt London; it was my first trade show with NTR and my first as CMO and the days after meeting with potential clients. I don’t think I’ve ever been quite that busy!

My return trip took a full 24 hours! I don’t sleep well on planes or during layovers and on top of that I get terrible jet lag.

But I’m not really complaining; it was so worth it. The conference was fabulous; I met many interesting entrepreneurs and we developed many sales leads. Of course, London was fabulous, as always.

Because I’m so short of time this week, I thought I’d share a very interesting infographic about the global startup ecosystem.

For more about Disrupt, visit me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter; I’m writing as fast as I can.

In the meantime, here is the promised Infographic.

entrepreneurship-infographic

Created by DealSunny

Interview with the CEO of Poshare

I’m very excited to share today’s interview with Zhanna Merson, founder of Poshare. Anyone who loves glamorous gowns, but not their price tags, will love Poshare (for the curious, Poshare is a contraction of ‘posh’ and ‘share’). And that includes guys who are looking for something totally unique for that special woman.

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Tell me a little bit about yourself, your family, your background, your roots.

I am originally from Ukraine; I came to the United States in 2006 as an exchange student. Both my parents are engineers, my father started his own business in the 90’s, he has certainly inspired me to pursue something of my own.

When I moved to America, I lived in New York for the first nine years. When I started Poshare I had the opportunity to move to Houston, which, so far, has proven to be a smart move.

My initial idea was a result of my interaction with a good friend, with whom we used to exchange dresses and accessories. This practice has virtually doubled our wardrobes, but all that ended when she moved to Miami. Initially the idea was to build a P2P marketplace where women would rent dresses from one another which could help them kind of monetize their closets. But after thinking it through, I realized that a peer-to-peer marketplace had a serious flaw – unreliability. Women typically rent dresses for a particular event, so there’s no space for error. If the dress wasn’t shipped on time and in perfect condition, client may be left with nothing to wear, which would result in a nightmare, decorated with complaints and bad reviews. I decided that Poshare should be a curated community of boutiques and designers, those that have a proven track record of customer satisfaction. I wanted to pick and choose our dresses and make sure my vendors were professionals who would deliver the product in good condition and on time, minimizing customer service issues.

When did you start Poshare?

I started the company in 2015, but the website hasn’t launched until February 2016.

Congratulations! What actually drew you to become an entrepreneur, rather than working for somebody?

Well, I guess growing up in a post-USSR country and living through the 90’s, with all that political turmoil and economical hardships around, made me feel uncertain about working the regular 9 to 5. It felt like I am putting my well-being into the hands of someone else. As a kid I remember seeing so many people with presumably steady jobs were losing their income, everybody was so stressed out about government companies closing left and right, people were wondering whether they will have a place of work tomorrow or not. From my experience most those who were bold enough to start something on their own, took risks of trying something new, have succeeded. Plus of course having this sense of freedom, being able to do what you think is right and being responsible for your own future looked quite attractive to me.

You mentioned that you don’t have a cofounder, so what triggered your move? Did someone influence that decision?

Initially I really wanted to find a co-founder but finding a good one is easier said than done. I’ve met a lot of people who were interested, some went as far as immediately printing ot business cards, but unfortunately when it came to sitting down, rolling up their sleeves and really getting to work – I kept hearing excuses: don’t have the time, not feeling it today, sudden health issues, this, that.. You know the old saying, if you want something done right – do it yourself. So that’s what I did. Initially I was working evenings, after a day at my full-time job. I think it took about 10 months before I realized that in order to really get Poshare off the ground I will need more time in a day. Fortunately, I have always been financially responsible and saved enough to be able to leave my job and fully dedicate myself to Poshare.

Tell me about your culture.

Our company culture is about being a team, being as open and honest with each other as possible. Thankfully we are all good friends from the same city in Ukraine so we know each other quite well.

Right now, Poshare consists of two people here in the States and three developers in Ukraine.

I want to build a friendly, compatible team, where people support each other, where everyone is comfortable bringing up an idea, asking questions, pointing out any flaws they may see. If someone disagrees with me and they have a better solution – I am happy to hear them out. I don’t want to run this company as a dictator and surround myself with only those who agree with me. I want a team environment where everybody feels equal in terms of being heard.

Nevertheless, I don’t want my teammates to think that our friendship means that they can slack, because they really can’t.

 You don’t want them to become too relaxed.

Exactly. There must be a clear understanding that, while I’m not going to micromanage and constantly look over your shoulder, I expect you to do your best. When I hire people I try to find those who love what they do, who share my vision about the product. One of the least pleasant things is having to fire someone. I’ve only done it a few times thank God.

What values are most important to you?

Professionalism – in whatever you do. Honesty and responsibility are two main traits that I’m looking for in people, whether we are speaking about my closest circle or the folks that I work with. I like straight shooters. Of course this isn’t about just flat out saying everything you think; it is about being open and honest. If you promise something, you make sure it’s done. You have to own it. People of course make mistakes and it is perfectly fine as soon as you can take responsibility for your actions and learn from it.

What focused you on those particular values?

It might be my Ukrainian background. One of the hardest things for me personally, when I moved to US, was to get used to corporate politics. I just feel a lot more comfortable when we act as a team – not when we pretend to be one.

Makes sense. How will you hire when the time comes?

Well, I’ve noticed that my best employees were brought into the company through referrals. I am kind of obsessed with recommendations and references. I also am not afraid of outsourcing certain things. Ultimately our team was made from outsourced developers that later became the in-house crew.

The last question is about leading. Of course, position-wise you are the leader of the company, but it’s interesting to know how you think about leading.

Leader should lead by example only: one must be motivated in order to motivate others, be able clearly communicate company’s vision, be passionate about what he/she does. If the spark isn’t there, it’s only a matter of time for the team to fall back. For example, if you expect someone to work weekends you should be ready to pick up the phone or respond to their email during that time. At least this is my philosophy. Being a leader is a great responsibility and a lot of hard work.

I first came to America thanks to a program called Future Leaders Exchange. I got a full scholarship. Applicants had to go through a number of exams and psychological tests, then among almost 3000 people only 50 were chosen. I work hard to live up to their belief in me.

They definitely made a good choice :)

Thank you and thanks for having me.

Interview with the CEO of Stuffed Pepper

 

Today’s interview is with Heather Jacobsen, the founder and CEO of Stuffed Pepper, an online magazine and resource for the gluten-free and paleo lifestyle. Heather says she is also a mother, researcher and writer, and loves to find order in chaos.

Jacobsen Heather

Tell me a bit about your family/background/etc.

My father was a Naval officer, which brought me to exciting places around the world. I’ve lived on both coasts (in the US), went to grammar school in Denmark and even got to spend Christmas in the Philippines when I was three. I developed my wanderlust at a young age, as well as an appreciation for the paradox that this world is vastly diverse, yet at the same time most of humanity shares many of the same values. One of those values I believe we all share is the desire to be healthy and most of us are even willing to take the proper steps to do so. Unfortunately, however, many of us are lost when it comes to knowing how to eat properly.

Being the daughter or a Naval officer, I also developed a great sense of discipline at a young age, which helped me focus my creative world views, so I can really get things done. I have a Master’s in Ethnobotany and have used those skills to delve deep into the science of nutrition and break it down in a easy-to-digest terms for laymen.

What drew you to becoming an entrepreneur?

I never thought I was an entrepreneur. But I’ve always had the wish to do something that would “make the world a better place.”  After my second child was born, and I no longer had a career, I was looking for something to do and decided to start a blog.  Because I had been gluten-free for almost a decade, I thought I could share my gluten-free recipes and advice; I found I am not alone in my gluten sensitivity and the blog snowballed into a larger, community website as I found others that wanted to share their knowledge and expertise.

I continued to research the far-reaching effects of gluten sensitivity, as well as the proper way to stay gluten-free. It isn’t as straightforward as you think! It wasn’t long before I realized that people needed more than just recipes.  Going gluten-free is not easy!  Not when most of us have been conditioned since birth to eat bread and cereal with pretty much every meal, including snacks.

That led to developing meal plans, a 30-day program, and other downloads that would help people really stick with the diet and get back to health.

 

Where/how did you and your co-founder meet/decide to do a startup?

I don’t have a co-founder. But if you know someone who is interested… :)

 

Tell me about your company culture.

I work with interns from time to time. Otherwise, I am the sole employee. Other than my own posts, all of the contributions to the website are from volunteers.  I have no set schedule. I am a mother of two young children, who are my first priority. So I work when they are at school or when they have gone to bed. I allow the same flexibility with my interns and volunteers.

My interns are rarely local, so we meet over Skype when we need to. I don’t have a set schedule for posting articles or for tasks that need to be done by interns. We all work together to negotiate hours and timing so that it works to everyone’s benefit. Because my company is mostly online, we have that sort of flexibility. That is the nice thing about the digital age.

 

 

What values are most important to you?

Truth and integrity are hugely important to me. We are an online magazine giving free health and nutrition advice. Our income comes from our downloads and advertising.

Unfortunately, most people get their nutritional advice from the food industry itself. The food industry has a powerful influence in the FDA and the USDA who create our dietary guidelines, so there will undoubtedly be bias in what we are told we should and shouldn’t be eating.

Additionally, when consumers scan the labels of foods in the grocery store and see captions like “heart healthy” or “low calorie” they assume it must be healthy for them. Unfortunately, that is not always the case.

Our aim is to provide honest, scientifically sound nutritional advice, without industry influence. We work only with food companies that truly understand the importance of nutrition, and are not just interested in the bottom line.

 

How did it happen? Were there conscious decisions on what you wanted the culture to be?

Yes. I consciously chose to be flexible, casual and also trustworthy. As a mother, I need flexibility. And I am not the only mother out there, who needs this. I have had several interns who were completing degrees in nutrition who were also mothers. Flexibility was also important to them.

I have also always been a seeker of truth. Maybe it’s because I am a Sagittarius, and we are notorious for being so truthful we sometimes hurt people. I try not to do that! Or maybe it’s because I always admired the muckrakers such as Upton Sinclair, who wrote The Jungle which brought to light the ugly truth behind the meat-packing industry of the early 1900’s.

Either way, I believe people have a right to be informed about their own health and that proper nutrition is the first place to start. For that reason, all of our information on the website is free. Its only the extras, the meal plans or the consolidation of information in books, that we charge for.

 

How do you hire? What are the most important traits you look for in a candidate?

In addition to having the proper experience, such as in nutrition or social media marketing, I look for someone who is enthusiastic about the subject matter, who can demonstrate hard work and commitment, and who has the ability to put their own creativity into the job.

 

Do you think of yourself as a leader? Why?

I have never really thought of myself as a leader. Which is why, I suppose, I never really thought of myself as an entrepreneur.

But in order for me to be able to stand behind my website, I needed to become an authority on the gluten-free diet. It’s when I began researching it more that I realized most people were not doing gluten-free “right.”

That is, simply replacing food containing gluten with those on the gluten-free foods aisle, was not enough to heal people’s bodies after gluten had done them harm.

This notion is different from what the majority of gluten-free consumers understand, and certainly what the foods industry wants them to believe. When I discovered this, I realized that I needed to take a stand, and become a leader in this new direction.

While there are still some who are resistant, I believe that more and more people are understanding that we really need to eliminate all grains from our diet or even adopt a paleo diet, if we want to truly heal. The paleo diet is receiving a lot more attention these days, and I am happy to help play a role in that.

Happy Thanksgiving day

 

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

thanksgivin

I love your American holiday.

I have many foreign friends, so we are planning a celebration.

Sadly, many of us don’t get the day off, so our party will be in the evening.

There will be lots to eat, because everyone is bringing food, “just like home” according to one friend.

But our food is different than your traditional menu.

Here are some of the dishes we’re having.

Chicken and mashed potatoes; And olive salad recipe that came from France a long time ago, but was completely transformed and now it is fully Russian. I know there is more, but not specifics. Of course there will be lots to drink, too.

After dinner my band and I are going to play.

And I thought I’d share the Thanksgiving wishes a friend sent when I told her about this post. She sends it to all her friends.

May your stuffing be tasty
May your turkey plump,
May your potatoes and gravy
Have never a lump.
May your yams be delicious
And your pies take the prize,
And may your Thanksgiving dinner
Stay off your thighs!

I hope you have a wonderful time; I certainly plan to!

для али

Interview with Startup RigBasket’s Founder

 

A few weeks ago I mentioned we were going to do a series on founders and startups and promised you interesting people to meet.

Art Trevethan was the first and today I want to introduce you to Ali Hasan Raza, one of three founders of Houston-based RigBasket.

ali

The interview was conducted by my colleague Artem Nadikta , in Houston.

Artem: Tell me a bit about your family, background, roots and where you are coming from educationally, personally, etc.

Ali: OK. I was born in Pennsylvania. I come from a family of doctors. I actually grew up in Saudi Arabia for nine years and then nine years in Pakistan.

I studied chemical engineering at the University of Pennsylvania, but even then I was more interested in the pharma and genetics side, rather than energy. When I graduated there were more opportunities in oil and gas, so, although I didn’t know much about it, my research professor was a big fluid transport guy, so I thought it might be interesting to explore hydraulic fracturing design and operations and here I am.

In terms of entrepreneurship, I’ve been selling all kinds of stuff since I was 12 through student council and have had this innate need to sell. I didn’t know this behavior was called entrepreneurship until college.  I was an intern at a startup in 2009 called TapInko, which gave me exposure to the US innovation ecosystem. . After graduation, I joined Schlumberger as an engineer, which gave me a grounding in oil and gas.

I could see many inefficiencies in the corporate world, which meant opportunities to change how things are done, and that’s what led me back to the entrepreneurial world again. Continue reading Interview with Startup RigBasket’s Founder

Kudos to Andrew Credfeld and HouseLens

As most of you know, I work for NTR Lab; a company that provides remote development teams for entrepreneurs from MVP through launch, scale and ongoing iterations.

I want to take this opportunity to congratulate HouseLens and its founder/CEO Andrew Crefeld on their most recent fundraising. They just successfully closed the investment round.Way to go, guys!

HouseLens creates interactive VR 3D for the real estate market. I could describe what they do all day, but, as it is said, one picture is worth a thousand words, so take a look.

We are proud to be involved in making Andrew’s vision a reality.

Interview with Art

 

Learning about those facing challenges similar to your own can be useful, so I decided to interview founders and other leading growth companies and share the results with you.

My first interview is with Art Trevethan, Chief Operating Officer at guideVue, Inc.

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Yana: What do you think of the idea of leadership?

Art: I think it’s a challenging topic that many people don’t understand. They think of leadership in terms of military command and control, but that’s not usually the best way to get things done. Based on the books I’ve read, and my own experience, the best leaders earn their leadership cred based on their actions in a given position. Anybody can be called a leader, but actions speak louder than words.

Yana: Do you consider yourself a leader?

Art: I like to think that I’m a leader and I feel a responsibility to those who place me in a leadership position. I work to do the best job possible; I’m constantly learning , studying successful leaders and investigating how I can be better. I’ve experienced poor leadership myself and know that it makes any job more difficult.

You have to constantly grow, because real leadership means continually evolving to meet new challenges. It means being both proactive and reactive to change, because as a global company we are in a constant state of change. It’s how one responds to the challenges and change that determine your leadership skill.

Yana: What do you think about learning from your employees?

ART: I believe you can learn  from everyone and that if you stop learning you’re finished. Kaput. I also believe that learning doesn’t just mean books, seminars and stories about leadership. I think you can learn from everybody in your organization; from your executive team to the entry level admin. You learn how to better serve your community by understanding their needs. You have to understand the goal, the position and the struggles of each individual on your team.

Yana: What is your background. Tell me about your parents, college years, etc.

Art: I grew up in a small town in Ohio. My father was insurance executive and my mother was a nurse and still is. They say, once a nurse, always a nurse and that sure fits my mom.

I was in the Boy Scouts and worked my way up to Eagle Scout. Scouting taught me to respect different people; the value of community service/giving back and opportunities to learn how to lead.

That’s why I believe so strongly that leadership isn’t just a function of business, but also within your community, as well. I’ve been fortunate and have had the opportunity to travel extensively, including the old USSR, and studied cultural differences.

Yana: You mention traveling in Russia. Where exactly?

Art: Moscow Sochi, Baky, Riga and Leningrad

Yana: I’m from Tomsk, in Siberia.

Art: I didn’t make it to Siberia; my travels were mostly the western portion of the former of Soviet Union and many other countries since then.

I’ve found the ideas of leadership to be true everywhere, although the approach, style and actions are different.

My own approach is to use something I learned in Scouting called EDGE. It stands for Explain Demonstrate Guide and Enable and lets me support my people, so they can reach their full potential, while still accomplishing the goals of the company.

As opposed to just handing someone a task along with a few tools with which to do it, EDGE is a method of teaching: first you tell them how to do it, show them how to do it, lead them through the process of doing it and give them the tools to be able to perform the task.

Yana: What did you do when you first graduated from college?

I spent time travelling and then jumped to different jobs; I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. I thought I’d become a photographer; when that didn’t happen I moved to import/export; I worked in insurance; I worked in banking.

I even worked as a ghostwriter for several industry blogs covering support, testing and QA. I really respect what you do as a writer. It’s not an easy job.

Yana: Thank you! I appreciate your understanding!

So how did you finally end up in an AI-based company?

I kind of fell into the startup world around 1992-1993 working in AI, mainly because I believe I can do absolutely anything if I put my mind to learning about it. Although I had no background in AI, I started working in operations for a young AI startup. I learned how to manipulate algorithms. We were focused on insurance, but the lessons learned are just now being applied to Big Data.  

I’ve never been afraid of tackling an area I know nothing about. I read up on it and, most importantly, talk to people. And I don’t pretend to know; I use the reading to help me ask better questions, but it is my willingness to admit not knowing that gets me the most help.  

From there I moved on to customized web browsers and then to support test tools. All the positions were with startups and I usually found myself moving quickly into a senior role and then to the executive team.

Yana: How do you hire ?

I use resumes to do the initial sort. I like to experience people, so next is a personal conversation. I want to understand their motivations; I strongly look for people who are continuously moving forward, as opposed to people who are content and not looking to stretch their boundaries. I’m a strong believer that you have to fail in order to succeed, because otherwise you have no way to compare or evaluate what you have done.

That said, I am very intolerant of stuff that creates difficulty for the team, like missing deadlines, not doing the work, shirking responsibility and blaming others. That kind of thing is never acceptable.

I want people who take responsibility for their error, can explain the reasons for it and what they would do differently in the future. That means they have learned something.

I also look for people who are interested in challenging the way things are done, because anything can be improved.

Yana: How do you motivate people?

People like hearing that they doing a good job. I like writing letters to my employees to let them know they are doing good work. I actually write hundreds of letters every year.

Taking time to actually write things forces me, or any manager, to fully think through what they going  to say; it shows the degree of caring and respect we have for the individual. So sitting down and actually writing “you did a good job” and taking time to explain why it was a good job makes an enormous difference. I’ve never found anybody who doesn’t respond to that kind of motivation.  

 

ART TREVETHAN
CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER

Art Trevethan is a driven leader who brings vast experience in technology and business to the table.  Art has over 20 years experience leading young companies and startups.  Starting in technology in the late 90’s, Art has held positions ranging from functional roles to executive leadership across a broad platform of technologies.  Artificial intelligence, browsers, software development tools, social platforms, and others, Art is experienced in consumer, healthcare, governmental, and corporate markets having delivered exceptional experiences to each, because every interaction counts.

Think outside the box

The phrase “think outside the box” isn’t native to Russia and we don’t have a native phrase embodying the same idea as we so often do with other colloquialisms.

I liked its meaning, even more so after reading what Miki wrote a decade ago. With her permission, I combined it with a follow-up post and condensed them a bit. (If you are a purist, I’ve included links to the originals.)

think-outside-the-box-alternate

image source: here

Here is Miki’s theory about boxes.

Everybody has a box.

And no matter how hard you try you’ll never really think outside it.

Anyway, it’s not the box that matters, but its size.

Steve Jobs’ and Steven Spielberg’s boxes are immense, far larger than most, yet they both continue to enlarge them.

A It’s not about encouraging your people to “think outside the box,” but about helping each to understand their own box and how to enlarge it.nd therein lays one of the secrets of a creative organization.

Use up your box’s content, find its sides, move beyond them, a new box forms and the process begins again. Because that’s how it works—each time you move outside your box, a new one forms.

If you work at it, this process continues throughout your life—although some never start it and some get comfortable in a certain box and retain it.

There will always be a box, but with effort you can enlarge it enough to encompass galaxies—and even entire universes.

It’s all yours for the choosing. (Here’s the original; it has some interesting comments.)

The second part was written in response to comments about box replacement. –Ed.

This isn’t about replacement or boxes within boxes, it’s about expansion. Everything that existed in the old box continues to exist, but new dimensions are added, because the box is larger.

And it especially isn’t about ‘using up’ what’s in your box, it’s about choosing to explore beyond what’s known and/or comfortable—but it’s OK if you don’t.

We all push our boundaries as we grow, it happens through experience and just plain living—and we’re not even conscious of doing it.

Some enjoy consciously pushing back their boundaries in evolutionary ways, exploring new areas a bit at a time. Still others take a revolutionary approach and willingly leap into the unknown, not knowing where they will land or if they’ll survive. Very scary—but the unknown has always been scary.

Most of us combine all three types, with ascendancy changing depending on what’s happening in our personal world—as well as the larger world.

What needs to be understood is that the person who leaps into the unknown is not intrinsically more valuable than the person whose box enlarges incrementally through their own life experiences.

All three types, along with their almost infinite combinations, are necessary for life, and Life, to continue on our planet.

Look at any list of great innovators and think of all the people who enhanced/changed/added to the original ideas; then add on all the lives involved, one way or another, with these ideas.

Each has value within their own world—what is different is the size of the innovators’ worlds, hence the perception of higher value.

Not all of us want/can change the world, but each of us can take care of/improve our little bit of it.

As for me, I’d hate to live in a world where all the little bits were a mess because everybody was out changing the whole. (Original post)