I'm a sociologist at heart. People in communities fascinate me. After years of observation, I can quickly see trends that enable the individuals to live and co-create effectively in the communities I visit. StartFast is no different.
I grew up in a working-class home. I never had the opportunity to study entrepreneurs or even self-employed people. Growing up (and even now), I have been told that success is working a 9-5 job for 30+ years that will one day provide a pension. Much of what drives me is the rejection of this model of happiness.
When arriving at StartFast one month ago, for the first time in my life I was surrounded by entrepreneurs who were excited to find uncharted solutions to large problems. There was no single methodology or goal they followed. This has brought me overwhelming joy and kinship that is only surpassed by my curiosity about this strange new tribe that has formed.
What have I witnessed since StartFast began? Well, the demands on our time from external forces have increased drastically - which often results on the need to re-attune and balance. We, in particular the CEOs, are challenged numerous times a day - intellectually, emotionally, collaboratively, and spiritually. The natural result is we've begun to form support clusters where we meet in groups and connect. My peer group of CEO’s share empathy, knowledge and resources freely during weekly “venting” sessions and pitch critiques.
This clustering is not unique to the CEOs. The CTO's have their group, and the interns have theirs. We also cluster based on interest (like film-making), tactics (like growth hacking), and culture (like soccer fans). We mutually understand we are all leaders in our generation, and this commonality in our community bonds us tightly together during this short summer.
I have spoken with numerous people this last week about their feelings about the end of the program in August. It’s on everyone's mind - even though we are not yet halfway into the program. The comradery that we experience together is more powerful than we had expected.
Some days mentors and customers jolt us. Other days our teams are in disarray. Each week we come together and share grievances in confidentiality, both to hear each other and be held communally in the complex set of emotions and thoughts we experience. We mirror each other's pain and wisdom; we listen and are listened to.
Cheers to you all, my friends. It’s a magical path we’re on - one that could never fully be explained to someone outside our program. I look forward to us growing closer before we part ways at the end of this summer.
Rob Jameson - CEO, Mass Mosaic