The wings of a butterfly are capable of creating a hurricane far away. This is especially true in the case of startups. One short talk with another founder at a networking event, and you might get an e-mail next week from a major customer, simply because someone liked your product enough, to spread the word about it. You can never know when things finally start to work in your favor. Before that happens, however, it is crucial for you to understand a concept that has proven working 10 out of 10. Give first, no matter where no matter how, try to help people around you. If you know a guy who knows a guy, your new friend could have a great chat with about their product, help them connect. If you can send over some templates for a great one-pager you've already written for an investor, don't hesitate to share it with someone who needs it. Soon enough you'll see that other people will get back to you with similar results, and your inbox is going to get flooded. Today's story is for sure a fun one, and one wouldn't think about the Give First attitude right after reading it, but if you dig deeper under the motivation, you'll understand how, and why things happened this way.
After months of hard work and dedication to prepare development processes for Cogito, our team was heading out for a short break at Kristóf's weekend cabin in Sonkolyos, Romania. This time, however, we invited our "twin" startup ViddL for the journey too. We've been very good friends with ViddL since the very beginning of our startup, thus we were expecting a great weekend together up in the hills. Fifteen people getting together for 3 days without coverage in the middle of nowhere, the perfect getaway for startuppers. Both teams have adapted the give first mindset but maybe we've gotten out of the frying pan and into the fire this one time. As we've arrived at the place and started settling some of our tents and equipment, we got shown around the place. The cabin was small but cozy enough for up to 8 people to fit comfortably, so a bit more than half of the people could sleep in the house, instead of tents. As we started the team-building process with some booze, we've had a lot of fun that night and around 3-4 am, people started to get to their bed, and the night went silent.
Around 7 in the morning, our tent started to get unbearably hot, since there wasn't any suitable place for the tents under the trees at the premise. As I couldn't get avoid getting fried on the sun in a kids tent (Kristóf promised he'd bring me one, but this was the only one he could get), I got out quickly. After some early morning routine, I sat down to gather myself and my thoughts. I sat at the garden table for 5 minutes, and some weird pattern started emerging for my visual cortex. I looked on my right, and I saw three people sleeping on a mattress on the field right outside the property, I looked ahead and saw other team members sleeping on the bench, some in the cars, and some in the tents. I saw an awful lot of people outside the house, so I started counting, 3 on the field nearby, 2 on the benches, 7 people in the cars, 2 people in the tents and myself. That was fifteen for sure, but I counted again. I got up and went into the house, and to my not so big surprise after counting, I found not a single soul neither downstairs nor the attic.
Fifteen people and not one dared to sleep in the house. As people around 8 after the sun's unbearable exposure started waking up, I started asking, whether they know who slept in the house after all? One by one people told their stories of X or Y talking about being sleepy and exhausted and thus they assumed they are the ones, who need the most comfortable places inside. Every single one of the people there told the same. They didn't want to sleep in the house because they thought someone might need it more, so in the end, nobody slept in the house. Now I know, this could've been handled with a quick schedule, in order to decide who'll sleep in the cabin, yet it shows something similar between the teams. All of us gave first, and we gave what we had, our super comfy place in the cabin. We didn't know, how they'll need it, or when they'll need it, but we gave it anyway. You might call me crazy, but this attitude of providing even the smallest help for the people around you can end up bringing in million-dollar deals after all. Not because people will always sleep in the cabin, but because they'll remember that they could have. Once you start nurturing this habit every day, you'll soon realize your small wings create bigger and bigger storms, not at your own doorstep at first, but for people who need it the most.
The team of Cogito is developing an all-collaborative community-based note sharing platform, where university students together can create reliable databases for their exams. By everyone sharing their amount of knowledge, the requirements can be cleared up and the frustration of getting the best, up-to-date materials is diminished. Follow our blog every week, and don't forget to like our Facebook page too.
Best, Matt and the Team of Cogito