Doing > Talking

by Scott Austin July 14, 2012

Early in the company, there were only two of us.  And we were located in two different cities.  So I became very accustomed to working in my home office alone.  Its amazing when you are working alone, how much work you can get done.  While you have to have the self discipline to not spend hours on Facebook or YouTube, you are free from the distractions that others bring.

This past week, my company had its biggest gathering of employees in one place.  There were six of us in my home office.  And that was an interesting shift from working alone.  Working around other people, it is easy to get caught up in social interaction; just talking about life, etc.  But we're all pretty seasoned, so we have the discipline to keep that minimized and focus on work.  But even in the realm of work, some interaction is more productive and some is less productive.

During the week, someone quoted Eric Ries and said Doing > Talking.  I love this concept.  Here's some real examples of how we are putting it to use:

  • Instead of talking about what companies we could partner with in the future, we're piloting a partnership.
  • Instead of talking about what we could do with the product, we're building our first pieces.
  • Instead of talking about who we want on the team, we're hiring.

It's easy to get caught up in talking.  It's fun.  It stretches your vision.  Interacting with good people is enjoyable.  But as a new startup, it's far more important to be making real, measurable progress.  So I keep asking myself, am I doing?  And if I'm not, I get back to doing.  Of course, talking is not the only thing that keeps us from doing.  We've got to keep our eyes on all of reading, social network, research, etc activities too.

P.S.  Doing > Talking is a shortened version of the quote "Stop talking, start doing."  Which it looks to me (from my quick web search) to also be a shortened version of the Walt Disney quote "The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.

Scott Austin
Scott Austin