Project17: Justin Milano – Four Pillars for Entrepreneurial Success


  • Understand fear and anxiety, and their differences.
  • Fear is about what’s happening right now. It powerfully colours judgement.
  • Anxiety is chronic, worrying about things that can probably go wrong in the future. It hijacks creativity.
  • Decisions are made based on choices going through an emotional filter. Your emotions affect your decision making.
  • Learn to master yourself and your emotions to be a leader.
  • The Psychological Price of Entrepreneurship
  • Fear -> Anxiety -> Burnout -> Depressed -> Overwhelming -> Start blaming on people and things.
  • Learn how to prioritise your workload
  • Cultures of Fear:
      – Scarcity: not enough money, time, support
      – Aversion: not feeling right. having the wrong experience: guilt, upset, inexperienced, overwhelmed. When the world doesn’t show up the way your expected, you feel resistant
      – Unworthiness: I’m not enough. Understand the company’s failure is different from your personal failure. It’s important to unwind these 2 things to maintain the identity of yourself.
  • Be considerate about cultural sensitivity, eg:
      – Asia: you cannot fail
      – America: fail fast, fail often, fail cheap.

The Careers of the Founders

The Careers of the Founders   Fleximize.png

More here.

How to Influence and Persuade


One of the challenges for us when we moved to Auckland is the lack of a means of transportation. We have been in a situation where there are a few setbacks realized:

  • I haven’t got a driving license. (Still sitting on a plan to work it out)
  • G has got his driving license; however, he’s not yet familiar with the driving-on-the-left practice (as opposed to driving-on-the-right in Vietnam). Plus, he’s not confident about the use of signs and signals here, yet.
  • G has started work pretty much immediately after we’ve got here, so we’ve almost had no time to settle that before his work commenced
  • Both I and G haven’t bought a single car in our lives. We are apprehensive. And we are taking our own sweet time to do research as well as get advice from friends here.

During the last couple of weeks, I have walked to almost every appointments, meetings, work, events and hang-outs within the city area. I’ve been to landmarks in the CBD, Ponsonby, New Market, Parnell, Mt. Eden… on all my feet. Thanks to Google Maps, my life has certainly been simplified. However, that doesn’t mean I was never getting lost. I like to fondly think of my walking regime in such a way that if I could keep track of how many kms I have already walked around in Auckland, it might as well be the same distance that I could walk to the moon. Google should seriously consider a function which remembers the distance a user walks from point A to point B when one searches for a route, and even accumulates the distance that that user goes off the track when he’s lost.

In the first few weeks when I was still agonizing about the idea of having no means of transportation, I wish there was an AirBnB for vehicles. It all started with my observation that my housemates both own a car each. However, the cars were seldom in use. Reason is for one, his office is a 5-minute walking distance from home and for the other, she works only a few hours a week.

I didn’t ask to borrow their cars for my own navigation (as I don’t have a driving license anyways) but as I thought about it, I figure they could actually rent out their cars when they don’t need them, which could earn them some extra pocket money.

The idea quite resembles one of AirBnB doesn’t it? You’ve got a room that you can spare, rent it out.

So I contemplate the idea for a while, toying with the possibilities of securities, thefts, law and all stuff that I don’t want to encounter when I put myself in the shoes of someone who has a car and wants to spare it.

Obviously, I was overthinking when ‘it’ has actually existed already. I don’t quite remember which leads me to yesterday and here you go, exactly what I envision an AirBnB for cars, and potentially motorbikes and bicycles.

yourdrive1 yourdrive2

In a blink of eye, I found myself hopeful. Clearly, the hope is not associated with the fact that there is existing a platform for instant car accessibility and now I can rest assured that whenever I feel the pain again, there is a solution.

But it is more of ‘hey, my idea is totally not out of the world. Somebody has proved it.’. *biggrin.

In 30 days, my startup will be dead

Inline image 1Src

> In 30 days, my startup will be be dead

This link is circulated on my Facebook feeds like wildfire. I give it to the writer that he’s being damn honest and hats off to him for being so brave sliding on the fear.

However, when reading what’s written, I couldn’t help but feeling this guy is putting a blame on everyone. Let me explain myself.

1. “We listened to our investors

I always believe entrepreneurs are a bunch of awesome problem solvers who pursue a cause and desire to save the world (at the same time earning money and fame of course). That said, in my admiration, entrepreneurs are brave heroes who would fight the fiercest winds, ride the highest waves, fall the most horrendous fall and bounce back brushing the dust off their butts to keep walking. (The reality is: not all entrepreneurs might not this cinematic. Behind the coolest-awesome-next-big-thing-wanna-be they are working on, perhaps the pressure is mostly on money-related matters – that I understand.)

So when you say “we listened to our investors“, you mean you were building a product/ a company for your investors?
When did this “providing (in a small way at least) for the needs of my family and that of my co-founder” stop mattering? And why did you let it or your gut feeling overshadowed by investors’ advice?

Disclaimer: I’m not trying to diss on the role of investors here. I’m questioning the entrepreneur’s point of view because I am not persuaded that “listening to investors” can be a mistake.

2. I really love my co-founder. It’s an enduring bromance that will last a lifetime. He’s a talented executor, supportive listener and I trust him entirely. However, he left me alone in the cold. He didn’t mean to do this, he didn’t even realize he did. I became the guy who would “do-it-all”. Biz Dev, check. Product Management, check. Support, check. Accounting, check. PR, check. Ad Copy, check. Development Lead, check. While he took complete ownership over design (and really excelling at it).

Obviously, this is miscommunication and misalignment in skill sets plus expectations.

When you came to realize that your cofounder has left you in the cold, why didn’t you do anything about it? If you never tried to iron this out but just endured it to come to this point where you only shout ‘you left me cold dude‘, then I think something is really wrong with you.

3. “This week, I need to speak to the other founder and fire our first employee before he leaves on a planned vacation. He’s a good developer, but I won’t fucking make payroll next week if I don’t clear him and his severance out of the company.”

You have no choice left that you have to do this. I just hope your good developer would hear about the clearance from you than anything else generated from this blogpost. That would be pretty painful I reckon.

Anyways, I truly hope some magic would happen to you and your team will all be fine.

How to hire a programmer to make your ideas happen?

I had a serious lunch conversation with my friend the other day and we were both on the same wavelength of “yea the idea is here, now what?“.

There was one point she mentioned she intended to learn everything and just get on with it, i immediately objected to that idea. I believe in learning new stuff and putting yourself out there for different new exposure and whatever whatever. However, at the same time, i strongly believe in 2 things:

1 person shouldn’t do 2 things. Everyone should place their undivided attention on what they do best and be given the chance to do so.
1 thing shouldn’t be done by 2 people. Conflict of interest, difference in approach, misalignment in management, non-compromising in agreement/negotiation … all these are bound to create a bloody mess out of a simple thing.

With that in mind, i urged her to go get a developer instead. And she found some useful info below which i can also tap on for my reference 😛

So Derek Sivers has some wise words for
> Create a prototype version 0.1 for idea
> How to hire a programmer to make your ideas happen.

Definitely good tips i should take note of.