The Upside of Fear by Moe Abdou


As entrepreneurs, we celebrate our ability to withstand adversity, but as individuals, most of us would rather do without.  In business, it's those who overcome the greatest odds who are hailed asiconoclasts - they're often the ones who challenge our beliefs, help tear down walls that keep us stuck, and perhaps more importantly, invite us to stand on their shoulders and advance their ideas. Martin Luther King Jr. did it; Steve Jobs did it and Mahatma Gandhi did it – each defied insurmountable odds, but in the process, made us believers. 

Outside the world of business and politics, however, it's rare that we take notice of such courageous feats.  "Once upon a time there was a man who had destroyed his life by age thirty-two," is how three-time convicted felon, Weldon Long describes his adulthood. By that time, he had spent thirteen years in prison, had no money, no family and no life - until one day he discovered the words of Emerson; 'to map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires courage'.  Not only did he internalize those few words, but they became the anchors behind a truly remarkable redemption.  His story starts with his commitment to rationalize The Upside of Fear; here's his formula.

 


Further Reading
  • How MeUndies Made Merchandising Their Competitive Advantage — When MeUndies thinks about their underwear subscription service they compare themselves to Netflix. What the streaming pioneer did for TV, the Los Angeles startup wants to do to your underwear drawer. The goal is to provide monthly subscribers with the staples they love while delivering elements of surprise - Think briefs with donuts and dinosaurs - right to your doorstep.
  • Seedling Relies on Childhood Curiosity to Inspire a Creative Team — On a recent flight home, I spent over an hour browsing a children’s play website, completely enamored by sets like Design Your Own Superhero Cape and Invent Your Own Insects. After sharing Seedling with everyone I know, despite few of my friends having children, I wondered why the brand struck a such a meaningful chord with me.
  • eero Designs Wi-Fi for the Smart Home Era — Nikhil Basu Trivedi, Principal at Shasta Ventures, recently distinguished exceptional founders by their ability to prioritize. “It all comes back to prioritization, speed, paranoia, and knowing that if you don’t iterate, even after finding product market fit, you can be disrupted by the next product,” he says.


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