Optimism (and its unwelcome cousin, Doubt)

Well, it has been a full week, almost to the hour, since E and I hatched our idea on my back porch. It originated from a real-life “why isn’t there an app for this?!” moment, and (at least in our own minds) had a life of its own from there. We think it’s a really good idea. The kind we would have downloaded for 99 cents awhile ago, if someone else has done it first. We are in the tech world, as lawyers, but we really get the “passion” bit a lot more now that we have our own baby idea…

But as soon as we got the confidence that comes from the “a-ha” moment I just mentioned, we also got insecure! Doubt! Neurotic! We watched the launch of a couple of different apps this week and thought “They totally know our idea and are surely building it too…” That certainly is possible. But… Not likely.

Anyway, more updates to come. This process is clearly as much about psychology (ours) as it is about ideas (also ours).

— H

Do Not Lean Back, Lean In.

Women almost never make one decision to leave the workforce. It doesn’t happen that way. They make small little decisions along the way that eventually lead them there. Maybe it’s the last year of med school when they say, I’ll take a slightly less interesting specialty because I’m going to want more balance one day. Maybe it’s the fifth year in a law firm when they say, I’m not even sure I should go for partner, because I know I’m going to want kids eventually. These women don’t even have relationships, and already they’re finding balance, balance for responsibilities they don’t yet have. And from that moment, they start quietly leaning back… So, my heartfelt message to all of you is, and start thinking about this now, do not leave before you leave. Do not lean back; lean in. Put your foot on that gas pedal and keep it there until the day you have to make a decision, and then make a decision. That’s the only way, when that day comes, you’ll even have a decision to make.

From Sheryl Sanberg’s outstanding commencement address given at Barnard College, May 17, 2011.