Embracing Mastery: A Year of Learning and Looking Ahead

An open dictionary with the word learning in focus

Just a couple of weeks ago, I shared a blog post reflecting on a year of striving for mastery in various aspects of running a startup. As we turn the page into a new year, I find myself looking ahead, ready to embrace the multitude of roles and challenges that lie in wait. This past […]

Embracing Shu Ha Ri in Product Development

Brightly colored hand made shoes

Reflecting on my journey of growth and learning in the startup world, I’m reminded of the powerful framework, that is also one of our core principles at Rutabaga, of Shu Ha Ri. First, let’s have ChatGPT define Shu Ha Ri for us:  Shu Ha Ri (often written as “Shuhari”) is a concept in martial arts […]

Why Innovation Efforts Fail

Several arrows miss the target

A recent McKinsey survey found that 94% of business leaders are unhappy with their innovation efforts. Meanwhile, research by Capgemini reports that 80-90% of innovation labs fail. Yet, the need for innovation isn’t letting up. Companies that don’t innovate are at serious risk of being disrupted. We all know iconic brands that no longer exist, […]

Day in the Life of a Founder: A Journey of Mastery and Gratitude

Dwayne King

It’s a funny title right? Every day is so radically different from the last at an early-stage startup, it’d be impossible to pin down what you do. If someone asked me, ‘What did you do today?,’ I’d have to go look at my calendar, emails, and Slack messages to reconstruct my day. A friend said […]

Comfort In The Discomfort

Stranger in a dark alley

Recently, a former colleague (and now a colleague again), Johnny Servin, forwarded an email he had saved that I had sent the team after a meeting. He said he still refers to it, and it’s 5 years old. I hope some of the thoughts in it may be helpful to others as well. First, some context: […]

Humility And The Beginner’s Mind

I’m a big fan of the Hidden Brain podcast. If you haven’t listened, you should. This morning, I enjoyed the episode, “Rebel With A Cause” featuring Francesca Gino from HBS, and it had so much to unpack. I’ll focus on one aspect of her work: The meaning of humility and the beginner’s mind. The first thing […]