Schedulefly Stories

Growing a software business one restaurant at a time

Month: July 2015

Making something that matters

A buddy of mine sent me an email with a quote from a book he is reading – a book written by a well known VC investor in Silicon Valley. I’ve not read this book so I am not sure the exact context around this quote – but to me it kind of stands out on it’s own.

“If you want to build an important company, then at some point you have to scale.” Then after quoting something about how many employees Google and Facebook has today, he goes on to say “So, if you want to do something that matters, then you are going to have to learn the art of scaling a human organization.” Really? It’s just a shame that people read this and believe it. I feel sorry for young sharp kids graduating from college who think they must raise money and hire tons of people in order to matter to customers.

What does building something of importance and something that matters have to do with how many employees your business has? Or the profits it creates? Absolutely nothing. Except to investors like him.

People are building things that matter to a ton of other people – scaling their business (at their own manageable pace) and doing it without thousands of employees. They are building amazingly important things that this particular investor will never hear about. Thank goodness.


"I never thought I’d open a restaurant"

Van Nolintha began applying for jobs at the height of the recession after finishing both undergraduate school and graduate school. He was turned down nearly 300 times, so he and his younger sister, Vanvisa, returned to his home country, Laos, to reconnect with their roots. Returning home reminded him that much of his early life centered around food, so when he and Vanvisa later returned to the U.S. to Raleigh, N.C., they decided to start a restaurant. Having no restaurant experience, Van bought a copy of “How to Open a Restaurant for Dummies” and sent heartfelt emails to several of the most highly regarded restaurant owners in Raleigh, asking for advice and mentoring. They all agreed to help. In 2012, with little capital and lots of sweat, donations, and help from around 75 friends to complete their build-out, Van and Vanvisa opened Bida Manda. Today it’s one of the most loved restaurants in Raleigh. Of all of the stories I’ve heard from 5 years of interviewing restaurant owners, this is the most memorable. If you have dreams of opening your own restaurant but believe there are obstacles in your way, listen to this interview. You will finish it believing there is nothing that can stop you…

I can’t emphasize enough how inspired I was by Van. I asked him if we could tell his story on film, and he agreed! We haven’t made a video in a while, and this story is well worth reviving our video series for.

Thanks for reading,

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