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13 Dec 2010

Another person noted to me today that they hoped that we could get LassoSoft back on track, but were worried about the possibility of our success.

"What can you possibly do differently?" they asked. "You don't have any more experience or knowledge or intelligence than any of the former owners of the Lasso intellectual property."

It's true. We are just another company, determined to make a difference. No less determined than the last, with no fewer hopes and dreams than the last. (A few more resources suddenly, maybe, but that's beside the point).

We have a community of hyper-educated, hyper-passionate, hyper-talented people. Everyone has a different idea of what is right, where to go, how to do things.

This is where the old guard had it wrong from the beginning. The last monster had three heads, always at odds with the best direction. Even though there was regular agreement between three people - without clearly defining roles and responsibilities, without a mutual clear understanding about the difference between ownership (risk/investment) and executive decision making (role) - there was never a clear finish line. Thus, there was never a potential long-term winning strategy.

If we are all equals as musketeers, we are all for one, and one for all. And then we all go do what we believe to be the best thing, irrespective of what we just agreed to do - because we are equally in charge.

Someone must be the leader, and make right or wrong decisions on behalf of the group. Even democracy is not about everyone voting on a subject, and going that way. Democracy is about everyone voting on who will be the best leader, and then trusting that leader will choose the right path.

Years ago, when I was 12 years old, I was sent to "camp". Not your comfortable and fun Canadian camps, like Camp Robin Hood, or Camp Walden, or Pioneer Camp - but a survivalist camp, to "turn boys into men". Every morning we awoke before the sun rose and ran 3 miles in the African Jungle (the trails were called, "Moma Guts, Poppa Guts and Baby Guts", because if you threw up you could walk the rest of the way). At this camp, an "activity" involved dropping a group of 20 boys in the middle of the African jungle - with a few knives between them - and telling them all to "live through the night".

The boys who chose a leader all made it back to camp safely and relatively unscarred. These groups' leaders would often get tired of chopping down vines and pass the knife to someone else. One boy collapsed and we had to carry him as a group. There was always one person at the front, and the rest followed. There was no question about who was the leader, and when it was his time to lead - everyone fell into line and did their job. No one questioned the direction, as no one knew exactly how to succeed - we just wanted to not die. We chose the best looking direction and made like hell for it.

The boys who chose to "do their own thing" ended up exhausted and lost, as they all tried to do it on their own steam. One boy was found days later, miles in the wrong direction.

Although some things are ungovernable, the future of the Lasso product no longer suffers from the lack of a focal point of leadership.

Here I am, hear me roar. We have directionality, and the boys (and in this case, girls) are now in line. We are on the path to success.

We should have some good things coming out this week for the world to hear - some small victories, but important ones. Onwards and upwards!

Sean Stephens
LassoSoft Inc.


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