Brutal Honesty Doesn’t Work

When you join an accelerator, feelings get left at the door and functionality rules the day. If you can’t take the critical heat, you may think twice about stepping foot [sic] into the Accelerator kitchen.

Paul Graham came running into our tiny conference room, obviously irritated, and said: “Moments like these make me glad we invested in sixty-four startups!” … “If you want to drive off a cliff, go right ahead.” Later, he told us we were “like moths for bad ideas.” … in retrospect, it was actually one of the nicest things anybody did for us.

[Bill] Atkinson taught his team to put Jobs’s words through a translator. “We learned to interpret ‘This is shit’ to actually be a question that means, ‘Tell me why this is the best way to do it.’” (Isaacson, Walter. Steve Jobs, Kindle Locations 2306-2307.)

Was Jobs’s unfiltered behavior caused by a lack of emotional sensitivity? No. Almost the opposite. He was very emotionally attuned, able to read people and know their psychological strengths and vulnerabilities…This made him masterful at cajoling, stroking, persuading, flattering, and intimidating people. (Isaacson, Walter. Steve Jobs, Kindle Locations 2273-2276.)

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CEO & Founder at Miter. Former VP Design, Heap. Alum of Google, Facebook, Emu. Product designer, behavioral science enthusiast. Seeking investors, engineers.

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Dave Feldman

Dave Feldman

CEO & Founder at Miter. Former VP Design, Heap. Alum of Google, Facebook, Emu. Product designer, behavioral science enthusiast. Seeking investors, engineers.