Two years ago, I quit my job and founded Portico.
At the time, I questioned the prudence of launching a business catering to an industry in cyclical — and perhaps structural — decline, and markets where fewer and fewer investors seem keen to tread. I mean, all the books say that you’re supposed to ride the wave of a growing industry, or at least choose one in which the customer base isn’t shrinking.
But, the thing about journeys is they start where you’re standing. So, I took the first step with a disregard for the macro and industry cycles.
Two years later, those founding doubts persist. (more…)
Faith is taking the first step, even when you don’t see the whole staircase.
— Martin Luther King, Jr.
One of the things I’ve learned since becoming a father is that energy is a precious and exhaustible resource. In BCE (“Before Child Era”), recovering from a long day at work, intercontinental flights, or other enervating activities was fairly straightforward: grab a cerveza and read a book. Restoration achieved.
In CE, particularly upon entering the bipedal (i.e., toddler) period, carving out 30 minutes of reading time has proven to be a high hurdle. I’ve read 465 pages in the last four months.1
Rejuvenating weekends have gone the way of the dodo, as has the memory of routinely getting more than six hours of sleep. With a wife working grueling hours as a physician in residency, there simply has been very little time to recharge. I don’t know how single parents do it.
I don’t remember exactly when the epiphany hit me, but it was preceded by burnout and a rut; a hectic stretch of business travel; coming home to a couple weeks of watching the kid solo; and learning that one of our family members had been diagnosed with terminal cancer at an unjustly young age; that I realized I could no longer put off answering one question: how will you spend your energy? (more…)
Sometime within the next three months I shall become a father. So begins the last big adventure, a maelstrom of unequal parts agency and cupidity. On the one hand lies the opportunity to help mold a decent human being, showering him1 with love, and equipping him with the values, traits, tenacity and moral fiber required to live a good, meaningful life. On the other lies the awareness that I am incapable of sheltering him from all of life’s cruelties, tribulations, hopelessness and pain; a realization that parenthood entails a degree of submission to the crude determinism of biology and the randomness of fate. (more…)