You have to offer value without expecting anything in return.
I hope this becomes a broader trend in the startup world. No reason employees should only have 6 months to make a decision on whether or not to pay for their illiquid chunk of equity.
Fortune has learned that Pinterest told employees that if they have been with the company for at least two years and choose to move on (or who are terminated), they now can hold onto their vested stock options for another seven years (post-departure) without exercising them. By doing so, Pinterest has removed a massive tax liability that haunts the dream of many successful startup employees.
Putting yourself in new situations constantly is the only way to ensure that you make your decisions unencumbered by the nature of habit, law, custom or prejudice – and it’s up to you to create the situations.
The best way to become quickly knowledgeable is to find the right people and talk to them. Of course, do your homework first. But there isn’t a substitute to finding the three people in the world who know best and triangulating their answers.
This theory maps to serious writing projects. While outsiders tend to be very curious about how writers tactically do their job (“Do you write in the morning or at night???”), the hardest part of an ambitious writing project as the writer is managing your own psychology. More specifically, in my experience, the key skill is managing the self-disappointment bordering on self-loathing that can overpower other emotions through the long, hard slog.
To watch him with his workmates in the holy of holies, Apple’s design lab, or on a night out is to observe a very rare esprit de corps. They love their boss, and he loves them. What the competitors don’t seem to understand is you cannot get people this smart to work this hard just for money.