Drift Cat 5 Ultra Men's Sneakers Grey 36228802 Shoes Puma nuulnu1880-Athletic Shoes

Asics Gel-Challenger 11 Clay Blue Print Red Alert Men Tennis Shoes E704-Y400

Image result for risk

One of the fond memories I have of my first two years at LinkedIn was coming into the office almost every Sunday to spend a couple of hours with Reid Hoffman.

Our conversations covered a wide range of topics, but the time ensured that we were fully aligned on the strategy of the company and the priorities we were pursuing.

One of the topics that I was most fond of discussing was the nature of risk, and how to best lead teams when facing the various types of risk that are commonplace at hypergrowth startups.

Here, Reid never varied, and I quickly adopted his framework as my own. In the end, most of our productive discussion involved deciding which of three types of risk a particular decision involved.

NIKE LUNAR MAGISTA II 2 FLYKNIT FC SZ 13 COLLEGE NAVY BLUE FOX WHITE 876385 400

Categorizing the type of risk you face is incredibly useful in helping teams understand how much effort and consideration to spending on making various types of decision in the face of uncertainty.

For hypergrowth startups, risk can be categorized as one of the following types:

  1. Fatal RiskAIR JORDAN 11 RETRO XI TD CLEATS SZ 10.5 WHITE GAME ROYAL BLUE BLACK AO1561 107Nike Men's Air Zoom Spirimic Low Top Basketball Shoe
  2. Painful RiskADIDAS ORIGINALS NMD R1 SZ 8 GREY CORE BLACK WHITE GUM BOOST B42199Adidas James Harden Vol.1 Primeknit White Black Grey AC8407 Zebra SZ 11.5 Boost
  3. Embarrassment RiskMen/Women Asics GSM [1182A014-100] Unisex Casual Shoes Crazy price, Birmingham Environmentally friendly Fashion dynamicMizuno WAVEKNIT R2 Black White Grey Men D Width Running Shoes J1GC182909

Fatal risks are true bet-the-company issues. They are not that common, but they deserve clarity and focus. If you get the answer wrong here, the company is dead. These risks are unavoidable in early-stage startups, but as companies grow they become more and more uncommon. In fact, most large companies lose the ability or even recognition of these type of risks as they age.

Painful risks involve decisions that have significant repercussions if they go the wrong way. You might miss a key goal, or lose key people. They are recoverable, but there are real ramifications to getting the answer wrong.

Embarrassment risks have no significant impact if they are missed. All that is necessary is to acknowledge the mistake, change course, and move on.

Embarrassment risks are particularly difficult for smart & ambitious people, largely due to insecurity and ego. People want to be perceived as intelligent and successful, and they incorrectly map that to always being correct.

Unfortunately, most people at hypergrowth startups spend far too much time debating embarrassment risk, and they don’t take enough painful risks.

Original Vintage Camper Men's Shoes / Gorgeous / Still Excellent Condition

Jeff Bezos has more recently popularized a different framework, based on two types of decision. This framework is often described in the context of the decision to move forward with Amazon Prime, which at the time was mostly a judgment call versus a data-driven decision.

In his framework:

Overall, this framework is helpful. Thinking through the reversibility of decisions helps prioritize speed vs. perfection. When it comes to execution, the perfect truly can be the enemy of the good enough.

The problem is that almost every decision at a company is reversible, so it tends to not provide that much insight into why some risks feel harder to take than others.

New Balance 999 Suede Black MRL999BA Men's SZ 10

In some ways, you could describe painful risk & embarrassment risk as two sub-categories of Type 2 decisions. The speed of execution depends on taking these type 2 decisions quickly and aggressively, framing them as risk, and clearly articulating what the team will do if it doesn’t play out as expected.

Leaders need to embody this type of decision making, to give permission to newer employees to take risks and communicate their decision making effectively.

Otherwise, a spiral of low expectations and low-risk options will quickly put you in a vice when faced with more aggressive competitors. Worse, you won’t be taking enough shots on goal to learn fast enough to have high odds of success.

Large companies trend towards this problem because decisions become increasingly about the personal positioning of individuals for their own advancement, rather than optimizing for the best results for the company or their customers.

Ironically, taking painful risks may be the only way to set yourself up for exceptional outcomes.

The next time you see your team facing a decision in the face of uncertainty, try to quickly agree on what type of risk you are facing and what type of decision you are making. In most cases, you’ll be able to make decisions more quickly and save your time for the rare, but very real, risks that you have to navigate with your product and your business.

 

Drift Cat 5 Ultra Men's Sneakers Grey 36228802 Shoes Puma nuulnu1880-Athletic Shoes

|| BARGAIN || Asics Gel 195TR Mens Cross Training Shoes (4E) (0049)Reebok DMX Fusion Lite N Black Grey White Men Running Shoes Sneakers CN6060

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart even when it leads you off the well worn path; and that will make all the difference.”

Steve Jobs, Stanford University, June 2005

In 2012, I was seriously considering becoming a full time investor.

I’ve always loved startups and venture capital, and I had been fortunate enough after leaving LinkedIn to have a chance to work for Greylock Partners, one of the most successful firms in the industry.

In May of 2012, my daughter was born. While on parental leave, I remember receiving a note about a Greylock company that was looking to add to its executive team. I had visited that company just the month before, to help advise on strategies for organizing and executing on viral growth.

The role itself wasn’t the right fit, but for some reason that company stuck in my head. Did I really want to become a full time investor? Or did I want to go help build a company?

As it turns out, the company that I couldn’t get out of my head was Dropbox.

Saucony Hurricane ISO 3 Sneaker, Men's Size 7.5 W, Grey

Over my career, I’ve had the good fortune to work at three companies that grew to reach over 100 million users. After spending the past six years focused on building new companies, I’m excited about jumping back into the challenges of designing and shipping features for the more than 500 million people who use Dropbox to get things done.

With the proliferation of devices and ubiquitous connectivity of the modern workplace, I think there is a unique opportunity, right now, to help teams unleash their creative energy and find more enlightened ways of working together.

Drew has done a great job of sharing the high level vision for Dropbox, and I’m excited to dive into a space that has so much product potential.  The era of walled gardens is over, and there has been an explosion of new applications and content types in the past few years. The challenge is to design an open ecosystem that helps bring all of those capabilities together in a way that doesn’t sacrifice simplicity in design.

NIKE LUNARSWIFT+ 2 LAF LIVESTRONG BLACK VARSITY MAIZE 442109-007 lunarglide 7 8

For now, I just want to say thank you Men/Women KARHU FUSION 2.0 F804031 MINERAL BLUE/KHAKI Practical and economical In short supply Highly appreciated and widely trusted in and out for reconnecting me to the Dropbox team, and thank you to ADIDAS ORIGINALS NMD_R1 STLT PK OLIVE NEON PRIMEKNIT MENS BOOST SNEAKERS CQ2389New 9.5 adidas Pure Boost ZG Shoes Energy AQ2929 Blue White ultra Mens adios, and the entire Dropbox team for this opportunity. It is truly amazing how life connects the dots.

Drift Cat 5 Ultra Men's Sneakers Grey 36228802 Shoes Puma nuulnu1880-Athletic Shoes

Every time I go to the Nike Air Huarache Men's Shoes White/Pure Platinum/White 318429-111, I learn something new. There is something about watching some of the most prominent technology executives and founders responding to questions from talented journalists that gets me thinking.

Four years ago, I wrote about Nike Mercurial Vapor XI FG Laser Orange Black Cleats SZ 13 US 831958-801. Coming back from this year’s gathering, there  is no question in my mind that this insight turned out to be true. Responsibility was a significant theme this year. As the technology industry continues to grow and mature,  more and more people are looking to investors and technology leaders to think ahead about potential issues that will happen when their creations become ubiquitous.

It got me thinking about drones.

VANS SK8 Hi A Tribe Called Quest Mellow Yellow Bonita Applebum Shoes Size 5.5

The FAA projects that the number of drones will reach 7 million in just the US alone by 2020. The growth rates for both consumer and commercial drones Nike Mercurial Superfly 6 Pro FG ACC Soccer Cleats White Orange SZ (AH7368-107) at a rapid rate. The FAA estimates that there will be over adidas x AW Alexander Wang Run Size 10.5 Black in the US by 2012.

Over the past few years, I’ve made a few investments in startups in the drone space. But until last year, I hadn’t given significant consideration to all of the safety issues around drones, particularly as they fly over large crowds or critical infrastructure.

The problem is fairly simple. Large venues, like sports stadiums, and critical infrastructure are largely defenseless against drones. Whether it’s a music festival, a weekend football game or anything of that sort, most people don’t realize that event managers really have no solution to protect a crowd. Whether accidental or intentional, there is a real risk that a malfunction or crash could harm people.

Nike Barkley Posite Max Court Purple/Team Orange Phoenix Suns 555097-581 SZ 13

Long term, of course, we can imagine a world where drones can be programmed to avoid these spaces, (Airmap is a great example of a company making this happen). However, We can’t just assume or depend on this to be universally true – that risks the mistake of being overly idealistic. There needs to be an active solution to protect critical areas.

There are a number of companies working on solutions that involve intercepting and disabling drones that enter space that needs to be protected. In fact, there are solutions like drone on drone capture (with nets) 🕷, projectile solutions (shoot it down) 🔫, even flamethrowers! 🔥

Unfortunately, these kinetic measures make little sense in cases where the drones are flying over areas that need protection. If the concern is a drone crashing into a crowd or important infrastructure, these solutions run significant additional risk of the drone or pieces of the drone causing damage on impact. While there is definitely a market for kinetic solutions in the military and related markets, but it seems like a bad fit for the majority of the simple but real threats out there.

Nike LeBron Soldier XI SFG 897646-200 Black/ Olive Men's Basketball Shoes SZ 13

Last year, as the co-chairman of ICON, I had the good fortune to meet Gilad Sahar, the co-founder and CEO of Nike Air Huarache '91 OG White Royal Pink SZ 9 AH8049-100 LIMITED DS. With the unique insight that comes from military experience with both the costs & benefits of active solutions, they have developed a non-violent, software-based active measure to help automate perimeter protection from drones.

The concept is fairly simple.Nike KD Trey 5 VI EP 6 Kevin Durant Diffused Blue Navy Gum Men Shoes AA7070-400Nike Lebron Witness II EP 2 Black Beige Men Basketball Shoes Sneakers AA3820-020

Convexum has developed a device that allows companies & governments to detect when a drone is entering a restricted space, take control of the drone, and land it safely. A cloud-based service ensures that all Convexum devices have up-to-date signatures for known drones.

Initially, they are seeing significant demand for this solution around critical infrastructure, like energy development, and sporting venues. Long term, I can easily imagine a future where a non-violent solution for drone protection would be highly desirable anywhere we don’t want to bear the safety risk (like schools).

NIKE LUNARGLIDE 8 WOLF GREY WHITE VOLT 843725 017 SIZE 12 NEW RUNNING TRAINING

Europe has already provided a clear path for companies and government entities to receive the permits & exemptions needed to deploy this type of solution. (In fact, ADIDAS EQT SUPPORT MID ADV PK SZ 13 WHITE GREY ONE WHITE PRIMEKNIT CQ2997 to protect power plants.) Congress & Senate debating this now in the US, but seems to be one of the few remaining areas of true bi-partisan alignment.

I’ve personally been so impressed with Gilad & Convexum, I’ve decided to help them by becoming an advisor to the company.

Let’s hope this is part of an increasing pattern of entrepreneurs and investors thinking ahead about safety and regulation, and supporting technologies early that can help solve these eventual problems.