20 Mile Hikes

By Spicer Matthews

I am currently reading Great by Choice: Uncertainty, Chaos, and Luck—Why Some Thrive Despite Them All by Jim Collins and Morten T. Hansen.

First of all, what a great book! Second, the book mentions two explorers on a quest to hike to the South Pole. Each explorer leaves at the same time to try to beat the other to the South Pole. The two journeys have a great deal of parallels to running a business.

One explorer uses amazing focus and discipline and hikes 20 miles a day every day regardless of weather or conditions. He progresses 20 miles a day. Never more never less. The other explorer would sit in his tent on bad days and hike big long days on nice days. One day he might hike zero miles the next day he might hike 40 miles. The first explorer made it to the south pole and back. The other explorer died.

The point is, being disciplined and focused every day (in business) makes for a better outcome. Trying to grow too big too fast is a mistake. Continue on a 20 hike every day. Even if you think you can do more. Even if it is tempting to go faster.

I think in general at Cloudmanic we have maintained a pretty good 20 mile hike, but I am going to be more aware of our pace after reading the above book. Sometimes I get frustrated that we are not moving fast enough. Sometimes I want to add more features or products. Sometimes I want to be all things to all people. Sometimes I want slow down and relax. I think if we stepped on the gas pedal or became complacent we would not build great products. We would get lost on our hike.