Will hybrid work, work? (Ricky Weekly #63)

This is where I share 3 things every week with my friends and anyone else interested.

A picture from my life:

It feels like the first long weekend in the post-Pandemic era. I went to a networking event recently and shook hands with strangers and that felt odd. I saw people dancing in the streets in The Mission and got really giddy. I also went to a bar for the first time!

A thing on my mind:

I don’t have a full thought to share this week, so you get half-baked thoughts:

  • Just because Slack / Discord / Telegram / WhatsApp groups are easy to set up, that doesn’t mean you are building a community. Same goes with new school forums like Circle.so, Heartbeat, or even more specific ones like Cabal (for startups and their investors). I’m in so many of these groups because they’re easy to join, and while the cost of joining each one is relatively low, the combined cost of constantly seeing a ton of channels and notifications is high. There are only a few that I check because they either had a real gating mechanism (eg Y Combinator) or high intent (eg paid 90-day weight loss challenge group). Ideally both.

  • After doing a giant experiment on mRNA vaccines, we’re now about do another giant experiment on hybrid work. Once you let people WFH, you can’t easily take it back. Tech companies made way more money during the pandemic, but some of my friends are working way less. The thing with tech is that the companies were never managed that closely to begin with because the way value is created is nonlinear and the profit margin gives them a ton of buffer, but the pandemic just made them all even more lax and now most many of them have committed to a hybrid work future. What ends up working for Google probably won’t work for small startups and definitely won’t work for other industries. I’m curious how it’ll all shake out.

  • Once in a while a younger founder would tell me about how they were disappointed by this investor or that entrepreneur they once looked up to and put on a pedestal. I think I’ve felt that a few times too, but it’s not bad. It’s a reminder that everyone’s just trying to figure it out for themselves. I’d lower expectations, make people earn my respect, and listen intently to figure out what each person is great at to right-size my expectations. Another thing I’d look for is if we click, because if we don’t, it’d be way harder to get the person to be involved with me anyway.

  • Here’s a quote from my friend JP: “When we are not confident about our ideas we talk to people about them instead of doing the tiniest thing to test them out. It’s like you have a spark, and instead of trying to turn it into a flame, you’re running around asking, ‘hey, spark?’” I thought this was very helpful in making me aware of why I often feel the need to sound things out with someone. Spark?

A piece of content I recommend:

Silk Sonic “Leave The Door Open” - 2021 iHeartRadio Music Awards

I’m not sure if these performances are actually amazing or I’ve just been deprived, but they felt over the top in the best way.

🤗

As always, you can find out what I’m thinking in more real-time on Twitter and my essays are on my website. My primary focus (and where I focus) is on Flow Club.