Discussion with my cofounder about my personal problems

After Entrepreneur First (EFHK2), I’ve been working with a new cofounder in a completely different field, biomedical science. I would say that the discussion process was painful and fruitful. Though I am not sure if we can continue our new project myBioDiary, I would like to record her comments in the post for my self-reflection.

She was very insightful and open mind in her thinking process and she definitely taught me a lot in terms of how to find out the irrationality during decision making. When two people are working together, sometimes you made mistakes but you just don’t realize the situation because you believe in the “truth” you feel. But the truth is never perceived the same by another person. When it happens, arguments happen and the correct way to resolve it is through rational discussions based on the truth perceived by both sides instead of arguing based on your stance.

Before I joined EF, I hoped that I could find my blind spots during my 10-year startup journey. I believed that I was hindered by some blind spots and made the same mistakes again and again. However, it’s hard for someone to point out my mistakes so that I can rectify myself. I can find the answer now though it may be too late.

Problem 1: Constrained by the previous experience

During my last years, I worked on various projects, you name it, mobile apps, websites, iOT, etc. I have a lot of experiences in business or product development. However, some experiences are toxic but I can hardly distinguish which part is wrong. Occasionally, the problem may look similar to my previous one and I think I can apply my previous solution to fix it quickly. But it’s just an illusion. Sometimes, the result due to a wrong decision can be catastrophic.

misunderstanding: the current problem C is treated as the previous problem A and a sub-problem B

Problem 2: Emotionally not stable to solve a problem

Another problem happened a lot is the conflict between my rationality and emotion. On one hand, I want to take my role & the responsibility of CTO emotionally. On another hand, my rationality tells me I can’t handle the issue or I’m just not willing to do the task due to my previous bad experience. I just can’t manage such conflict and I will waste time thinking what the best way to resolve the situation. Yes, just not decisive to reach the solution directly.

During my technical work, I also have the same problem trying different solutions instead of going through a straight line. If I weight the pros and cons of various approaches, it may be able to save time. Trial and error is definitely not an effective way for programming.

Problem 3: Don’t raise questions or objections. Other people can’t guess me

Sometimes, I just don’t want to tell other people my thoughts. ‘Coz I know it’s going to have a tough discussion and I just don’t want to get involved. When I get involved, I will be forced to do something that I don’t like. And there will be no way to refuse. In fact, if the decision can have a huge benefit to the company, I should give a shot, at least listen to the whole discussion before making the final decision. Turning down is quick but thinking is the real hard work. Personally, I find it very hard to unlearn my unpleasant experience.

To solve a problem, one just needs to talk about it though it may lead to tough discussions.

The Solution?

I am still working out the solution or framework to address my personal work mentality issue. The root cause may probably due to my introvert personality and long-time enduring startup pressure. But I won’t find an excuse for myself. Hopefully, I will illustrate my solution in future posts. Feel free to let me know your hack if you have similar problems. 🙂

In the meantime, Hong Kong is dealing with a serious political issue about the extradition bill raised by the HK government. The society is extremely unstable and public safety is at risk. The issue started from June till now but there is no sign to stop. If you are lucky to read my article, hope you will spare a few minutes to read & share the news via social media.

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