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Start with the end

When you're building a product to ship, you have to start by visualizing how the completed product ought to look. Then work backwards to figure out how to make that happen. The clearer the vision, the more passionate you are about wanting to bring that vision to life, And the discipline with which you set out to work will define how efficiently you get there.

But you always start with the end. Otherwise, you might still work with passion and arrive at a product you deem worthy enough to ship, but it will neither in an efficient way nor with the clarity needed to mobilise others you would have liked to join you in building it.

Over the last year and a half, I have learnt (from the master himself) to start every new meeting, every new relationship, every new sales call, every new interview, with the end. The big picture. The ultimate vision that you want to realise. Apart from serving as a hook, it will force the other party to align her proposal to suit your vision.

I recently had to choose three words to describe the people I'd like to work with, and ended up choosing talent (to help bring clarity to the vision), passion (to be itching to bring that vision to life), and drive (to have the discipline to see it through). Someone who is able and willing to do what it takes.

Today, I came across the history of Eric Betzig (in photo), who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry last month for his work on high resolution microscopy. Turns out, he started with the end. Read his story here.

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