Its official ~ I have graduated from the Founder Institute (FI) with an engaging vision and a validated business!
What I learned:
1. The kindest thing to say when someone’s idea description seems incoherent is simply: “that sounds esoteric”. A program mentor said that to me the first week. Remembering that things were happening “for me” rather than “to me” was a necessary perspective.
2. HSSS is a common condition. It can strike at any age. Symptoms include a blank mind, heart palpitations, and trembling. The only known cure for (HSSS) Hot Seat Stress Syndrome is a lot of pitch practice, Toast Masters…or, wine.
3. “Founder proofing” a home environment is an important safety step when the founder is obsessive-compulsive with assignments. To prevent further damage in my home during the “name your company” assignment I had to switch to electric appliances with automatic shut off features rather than cook on an open flame gas stove.
4. Intention and visualization work … posting this note to myself at the beginning of the program made a difference.
Forgetting to breathe through the “product sprint” assignment was bad for my health. Again visualization works… when it is important, make it a screen saver.
What I appreciate:
1. The opportunity to share ideas and engage with entrepreneurs and founders that aspire to change the world and our experience in some smart, sexy, do good, brilliant, big, cool or stunning way.
2. The brilliance of Adeo Ressi’s idea, the generous insight of the San Diego program mentors, and the attentive and innovative work of the San Diego FI program manager, Jeanine Jacobson.
What I accomplished:
1. Only two days after deciding to give myself six months to find out whether or not my “big idea” could become more than an idea an article about the Founder Institute appeared in my stream. I had to apply. The FI curriculum prepared me to answer my question with a resounding “YES”.
2. Far more work and at a faster pace than I could have imagined!
Sign up to be notified of our beta launch at
I encourage anyone interested in building an enduring technology company to apply here: Founder Institute