About a week ago, I checked out the #9MileLabs graduation day for their Cohort II at the Four Seasons Hotel in downtown Seattle. 9Mile Labs is a B2B (Business to Business) focused accelerator in the Seattle area. Since I recently experienced the birth of a startup from the Startup Weekend experience for Seattle ReDesign on March 23, 2014, I got to attend the #9MileLabs Milestone9 event from the perspective of a founder. I took some notes along the way, so thought I'd share what my takeaways were.
Really awesome experience to attend the Milestone 9 demo day for 9Mile Labs. I was very surprised to hear so many B2B's with that human/customer story threaded through their presentations and businesses. Some common themes running through with mission driven companies trying to better, help, support to make the world a better place. Similarities around analytics and data driven solutions. Subscriptions rules the business models. Many of them already had acquired customers during the program. Every single one of the founders in the program talked about the 9Mile Labs program positively - the mentoring, the leadership coaching, and the commitment of the 9Mile Labs program partners and mentors to helping the founders grow great companies.
I had my first surgery experience yesterday morning (yes, lucky, had never been in surgery before)... 730AM. Bright and early my husband took me to the hospital at around 530/6AM. Monday. It was a long day.
You know... it was nothing at all like what I imagined it to be (this, from books, watching television and movies, ....). Actually, what I experienced is completely missing from the "knowledge" of what it's like to have surgery from the media. When you suspend disbelief and watch a television show... the subject (person in the show) about to have surgery gets wheeled in (in a wheelchair) or is on a table getting wheeled into the operating room. As you enter the operating room, the view is dark or maybe focused on the table with a bright light shining over it - as a viewer in these scenarios all you see is the table... that's where we are heading. THEN, the subject looks up to bright lights and a doctor wearing a mask and a hair cap who starts counting down as the subject gets drowsy.... "10-9-8-7....". Lights out. A flurry of activity goes on in the operating room and then voila ... the subject is in the recovery room surrounded by flowers and loved ones.
While I can't share the photos of the actual operating room or experience with you... and while quite unflattering... you can see the before and after photos of the early morning fun we had yesterday.
Here's the actual experience. You get stuck with the IV needle so they start the fluids and such on you. (BTW Painful afterwards - my hand is blue and purple on the top of my left hand where the IV needle was (currently massaging it to health again). I was shivering in my hospital gown, so they covered me head to toe in heated blankets while I waited. .... Now for the entering the surgery room experience. When your viewing experience is controlled while watching television for instance, your field of vision is pretty focused on the ominous operating table. When you're conscious and entering the operating room as I was yesterday, your eyes are going everywhere. I'm scared and nervous. Teeth chattering. My eyes, big, looked forward and I see the operating table. It's actually a funny shaped table sort of like a stainless steel cross with towels and gauze all over it - a place where I lay, and extensions for where my arms will go. Okay, that's where I'm going... creepy. The room is actually bright... well lit, not what I expected for some reason. I look right, there's a stainless steel table with gadgets on it... Oh gosh... oh gosh, looks scary. Yikes... I recognize the Anesthesia doctor there. To my left, a wall of stainless steel sinks and counter-tops with random things I don't recognize. I recognize the doctor and the nurse. ... They instruct me to get on the table. I climb on to the table while awkwardly trying to manage the damn IV line that's hindering my movement. My arms get placed out on the stainless steel extensions - it's cold. They cover me with more heated blankets. The Anesthesia doctor comes over to me and asks, how are you feeling? I'm cold... Doctor, I feel so loopy .... spinning.. The Anesthesia doctor responds, "hmm it should not be affecting you that quickly, let me adjust... "
Then ... [BLANK] I have no idea what happens next.
I wake up and regain conscious memory with my darling husband touching my face... and a nurse asking me what juice I wanted. Apple juice... ... blacked out again. Woke up... the nurse pulls the IV needle out of my hand finally. ...
That's it. In TV/movies you get everything that the subject/patient doesn't experience/see/remember. In real life, you get everything else - and it's WAY more dramatic. My hand is still sore from the IV experience. My throat is sore from the intubation experience (breathing tubes). I slept most of the day/night yesterday. I sit here with heating pads, seaweed soup (courtesy of my mother in law), and my darling Shiba, Mochi by my side.
Thanks for letting me share that. Hopefully you found it semi-interesting/amusing. Shared my thoughts on this with my husband last night and he seemed like he really enjoyed the story. Hopefully a rare story and I won't have to visit the surgery experience too often in life....
I met with one of my mentors recently, Tyler - he's got an interesting story/background and is one of my people I consider to be on "Team Arry". (I met him almost a decade ago as he helped me purchase my first condo. I had two sprained ankles at the time of the closing and he literally carried me to that signing.) I really enjoy his perspective - especially when it comes to the matters of life (meaning the intersection of all things that make up life: relationships, personal, business, career, and people).
Well, as you know - lots of life's opportunities are happening at the same time for us recently: 1) GiftStarter, 2) my patent for my Arry Table is official, 3) career, 4) working on growing our family, 5) "other" - let's call it stealth right now. I gave Tyler an update of all that was going on, and he stops me and says "what's the worst case scenario if you fail at everything?"... that should not be the question at the top of your mind he says, the question should really be (if you can handle it, which you can):
"what if I succeed?"...
I found it super helpful. Stopped me then and there and got me to work on reframing my perspective, my point of view.
Thought I'd share - hope it helps you.
(Thank you, Tyler!)
Quick update from me. Happy May!
Hola (since we're at Cinqo de Mayo)! It's been a little over a month since our little startup was born and we are loving it. My other co-founder is Stuart (@StuartAxelOwen) - an endearing smart fashion loving engineer. We haven't been around that long and we are not just about the product or solution, but about creating a company with meaning and mission. We went to Kyle Kesterson (@kylekesterson) talk on startups and culture and it's been foundational in helping us refine our culture and teaming. We're in the pre-accelerator program called SWNext right now - loving the mentors (like Shauna Casey, Dave Parker, Joanna Lord, Kyle Kesterson, ...). We've applied early decision to the accelerator program, TechStars (cross your fingers and toes and send good vibes for us into the universe).
Anyways, I am nearing or at a point where obviously I'm going to have to make some clear decisions to focus. I love my current company (Logic20/20). I love my furniture design opportunity having had my patent officially come through on March 23, 2014 (www.arrytable.com). I love this startup called GiftStarter (we are potentially going to give the company a new name shortly - stay tuned). I love my marriage and family. Pray for me to find the right path and focus, to make the best choices.
And please sign up on www.giftstarter.co to get our email updates as we progress on our startup journey. I'll be sending out the email updates and would love your support.