Beyond Zero to One (Once a hacker, always a hacker)

Consider me king of the unpolished. I go for the “glue it together and make shit work” method more than I probably should. But hey, that’s how I was brought up in this world of business. I’ve always been the one that wants to try new things and prove a thesis. With this, especially in my early-young-loud-snotty days, I would be up against the older execs trying to show them the new world when they were clinging to the days of yesteryear. 

So staying scrappy and being an indie hacker of sorts, it’s in my blood. Hell, I even came to Inside.com with the specific goal of being a growth hacker. The universe keeps throwing me that way.

I know this about myself. Being scrappy is a good thing because you can move fast, not be deterred by the fine details, and make quick iterations… right?

Not always. 

I actually came upon a real scenario where my rare attribute built for startups actually betrayed me a little. 

I’m currently working on a new product experiment for Inside. Like always, doing it the hacker way. But some of the team needed more details. They had so many follow up questions about things that were so much further down the line than the place I was at. It genuinely made me confused.

Why are we thinking so far in advance about a test? Why are these details needed for a test? Why can’t we just ship? 

After about 2 hours of trying to explain with no progress being made, I ended up just doing the entire experiment and sharing the test, rather than talking about it – you know, show don’t tell. 

After I got everything out there and set up in my unpolished, controlled chaos way, I started to really break down where the communication errors were earlier. 

Why was I the only one in the pod able to see the vision and no one else could?  

After a little reflection, I realized the problem. It was me. I was the problem. 

There are 2 types of folks in business land: 0 – 1, and 1-100. Each of those requires separate skills and a separate thought process.

1-100 folks need to see the details and the bigger picture. They need structure and guardrails to grow and execute effectively. 

0-1 folks, well, we’re fucking chaos monkeys. Which is great, but I need to be able to adapt clarity in my concepts in vision for the structured crowd. 

Being able to transition between wartime and peacetime effectively is a great skill and asset. One that I’ll be working on more now that I’m hyper-aware of it. 

In the meantime, fellow hackers… shout it with me… HACK THE PLANET! 

-AJM

p/alexmedick · @ajmedick 

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About Alex

Alex Medick is an entrepreneur and occasional investor from Las Vegas, Nevada.

If you want to jam about startups, growth, product, Bitcoin, punk rock, or surfing – he’s your guy.(more)

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