People keep telling us that they like our week notes a lot. Thanks for reading them.
But at the last #fatsix somebody mentioned to me that while he likes our approach, we do sound very chipper about everything that is happening. I like hearing this kind of feedback. An outside perspective is very, very important. While we try to analyze our own behavior as much as possible (sometimes to an almost unhealthy degree), there are limits to what we can achieve by our own. In that sense, please do tell us your perspective – positive encouragement is important, but it’s equally important to hear what we don’t get right.
(In this context, I want to once again point out how incredibly insightful and inspiring Matt Webb’s last BERG week note was. It shows his ability to reflect and point out on the things that do work, those who don’t and what keeps him awake at night while running one of the most exciting companies I know.)
So, what’s not running smoothly at Third Wave? Well, while we do not suck at it as much as we used to, the bureaucratic side of things still occasionally gives us a headache. It has never got to a point where it became a big issue, but while some things just work naturally for us, this part of running a business still gets us all a bit edgy sometimes. We are trying to figure out how to implement the right processes for the three of us. We knew from the get go that this will be our Achilles’ heel. None of us is a manager by nature: Peter, Johannes and I … we want to be working on projects, with clients and just be out there. That makes it difficult to find a textbook solution for us, but those usually don’t match with how we structure our company anyway. If you have any recommenations of what we should be reading or who we should be talking to, please let us know. We are eager to learn.
Sometimes I muse about the distant future of Third Wave, one that does include more people than the three of us, and I do ask myself: will we be able to find someone like Matt Webb? I don’t have any doubts about the fact that BERG success is highly correlated with the fact that it’s being managed so effectively without having to much overhead structure that sucks up the time that should be used for creative output. Or will one of us grow into this role? While we don’t see each other there yet, who knows what will happen in say … two years?
There you have it, we too sometimes lie awake at night.
On another side of things: We are currently working on many client projects. Johannes will be in Frankfurt for most of the next three weeks, helping out an agency. Peter will most likely travel to Zurich a few times where he is doing some heavy lifting for another agency in a big international team.
All three of us will of course be traveling to Amsterdam for the Cognitive Cities Salon next Thursday.