Featuring courage in Venture Capital and more; Every week the entire team participates in sharing lessons learned about the industry and their unique perspectives as interns, fellows, general partners and advisors. The lessons shared invite us all to build a common understanding of the Venture Capital Landscape and reflect on ways we can help its evolution.

Raed A Masri

Raed Masri

I found this graph to be extremely insightful. The graph suggests that low pressure and boredom correlate with decreased performance, while the comfort zone fosters thriving. However, as pressure escalates, the transition to survival mode becomes evident. This resonates with my experiences, particularly when I’m away from San Francisco, where minor disruptions easily trigger a crisis mindset. Maintaining my usual habits like exercise and time management becomes a challenge in such instances. This graph serves as a reminder for me to plan ahead and aim for a state of comfort or thriving, even when outside my usual environment.


Quinn Novels

I tend to be a very structured Individual. This week, myQuinn Novels partner and I were blindsided when his family announced their sudden visit from Florida Sunday afternoon. With his sister moving to the area, we quickly scrambled to find her housing. The instant transition from a leisurely Sunday to full-blown crisis mode was eye-opening nonetheless. While I am usually mindful of strategies to avoid getting overwhelmed, this unexpected situation affected my productivity as I navigated outside my comfort zone.


Faris Bdair

Although the graph may look the same it’s important to noteFaris Bader that its impact varies greatly along the X and Y axes for different individuals. Self-awareness is key, but understanding those around you is equally important. For instance, during my recent 21st birthday celebration, being surrounded by loved ones was crucial for me. However, fixating solely on attendance could have led to unnecessary stress. It was important that I recognized that some people express care differently. Perhaps through in-person gestures rather than texts. It was vital for myself to ensure a positive experience without sweating the small stuff.


Alex Asemi

A mindset shift has been crucial for me in transitioning fromAlex Asemi survival mode to thriving, reframing challenges as opportunities for growth rather than sources of distress. This shift in perspective significantly influences how our bodies respond to stress. When it comes to physical exercise, I’ve developed a toolkit for maintaining my routine, especially while traveling. For instance, during my trips around Europe, I didn’t always have access to my preferred gym. However, having a consistent practice, like doing 100 burpees every morning, made it easier to stay on track and adapt to my changing environment.


Omar Al Ramlawi

This graph intrigues me because it highlights the thin lineOmar Al Ramlawi between thriving and merely surviving, a balance I often find challenging. When we prioritize one aspect of our lives at the expense of others, it can lead to a crisis as we neglect important areas. To truly thrive requires attention to small details like sleep and diet, which positively impact various aspects of our lives, from sports performance to mood at work. Finding this balance ensures sustained success without risking burnout. Regularly listening to our bodies and allowing for periods of rest helps maintain this equilibrium between comfort and thriving.


Allan Ghosn

I can relate to this. It’s interesting. I’ve encountered twoAllan Ghosn individuals grappling with the decision to pursue business opportunities. I’ve never taken that leap myself, but I understand the mindset required once you’re committed. In business, saying yes often means diving in headfirst without much room for crisis. This constant pressure can lead to imbalance and even PTSD. It’s like being in university, where the stakes are high, but the financial consequences are far greater in business. Despite the challenges, there’s a need to perform consistently for numerous stakeholders. Having a graph like this would have made it easier to illustrate the perpetual struggle of maintaining performance under such pressure.


Alisa Lorden
AI and Education – I attended a talk about theAlisa Lorden newest developments in AI. It was really interesting to hear how there’s a lot of fear around AI and younger generations losing critical thinking abilities with the incorporation of AI. However, it can actually augment critical thinking if done the right way. One of my professors has actually been a leader on integrating AI into the curriculum and making it a part of students’ experience and actually helping us improve our work as opposed to taking shortcuts that might prevent future growth.


Hend Azzerayer

For me, discussing stress levels is crucial. Recently, I’veHend Azzerayer delved into a book exploring various strategies for managing stress. One topic that stood out is heart rate variability (HRV). Devices like Apple Watch or certain rings can track HRV, indicating how well your body adapts to stress—higher numbers are better, ideally above 50, though this varies based on age and gender. Another technique I’m exploring is mindfulness meditation. Studies suggest that consistent daily practice, even for just 12 to 30 minutes, can lead to noticeable changes in the brain within two to three months. I find this fascinating.


Jennie Hatch

I echo the importance of exercise. Recently, on a challengingJennifer Hatch day, I reminded myself to exercise, and it truly revitalized my perspective. Related to the graphic, being in the bored/understimulated part of the graph can also be quite stressful, and can push one into survival mode. Without sufficient engagement and fulfillment of needs, it’s possible to bypass the thriving stage entirely, landing directly in survival mode. This underscores how being understimulated can lead to similar outcomes as high-pressure situations.


Rakesh Sharma 

The graph is very informative, however, I do not feel like it tells the whole story; environmental factors play a significant role, too. In team settings and organizations, fear of failure can hinder progress from comfort to thriving or surviving stages. Effective managers or leaders create a supportive environment where failure is embraced as part of growth, fostering a sense of security to push boundaries. This tool can empower managers to cultivate such environments within their teams or companies. Drawing from personal experience, I’ve been fortunate to work under a manager who helped me overcome my fear of failure, seamlessly facilitating my transition from comfort to thriving and surviving to thriving states.


Rama Chakaki

I have a slightly different perspective on this matter. I believe that the greatest challenge we face is mastering our minds. If we observe infants or iconic figures like Nelson Mandela or Gandhi, what sets them apart is their mastery over their minds and their belief in creating synchronicity with the universe through mental clarity. Rather than adding more stressors to our lives, the true exercise may be in doing less—clearing our minds of the external pressures to perform and instead focusing on desires and joys. I recently experienced the contrast between the calmness of an infant’s gaze and the discomfort of being around someone overwhelmed by cluttered thoughts and stress. It’s essential to cultivate a clear mind and reassess our relationship with pressure. Boredom, too, can signal an imbalance in the mind, often stemming from a lack of imagination. A healthy mind is curious and imaginative, striving for thriving without succumbing to extremes. Remarkable individuals like Mandela and Gandhi changed the world not through constant busyness, but through thoughtful and deliberate actions. In our modern society, we must strive to be human beings rather than human doings.


Image source (samjenkins.com)