October 1, 1932: Third game of the World Series, with the Yankees taking on the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. Two strikes, two balls. The Cubs are one strike away from stopping the greatest slugger who ever lived.
Babe Ruth points to centerfield. That's where the ball was going to go. The pitcher grips the ball, winds up the pitch and fires a curve ball. With a swing and the crack of the bat, the ball sails in that direction. Going, going, gone. He homers the ball 440 feet into centerfield, just as predicted.
This is possibly the finest example of conviction ever displayed. Babe Ruth's conviction is illustrated in two parts -- telling people you're going to do it -- then doing it.
This should mean a lot to you if you're a startup founder. That's because telling people you're going to do it means believing it and getting others to believe. If you are hiring or looking for a cofounder, my number one advice is to look closer at the people you already know and trust. Few teams seem to push on this nearly enough.
It seems as though people are afraid of transferring their idea into other people's brains. But that's the entire point of what we're trying to do -- when trying to put a dent in the universe. People close to you are always the best people to try to recruit. As an added benefit: If you can't get your best friends to join, maybe you actually are crazy or wrong. This is your best way and sometimes only way to tell.
I know you are thinking... people have their own stuff going on. Close friends have jobs and sometimes their own startups. But let me tell you -- if you really know this other kind of world that you have in your head is going to exist, then you are doing them a huge disservice not to tell them about it.
If you can infuse your belief into others, then you will succeed. We all know that true believers can move mountains. Small armies of true believers can conquer mercenary armies of any size. This is why small teams of half a dozen people can take down goliaths.
OBLIGATORY STEVE JOBS REFERENCE: Steve Jobs has called himself a recruiter in interviews. This is not surprising. Everything past the first earliest stage of the garage is about care and feeding of the organization. The company. Steve Jobs is a master at making true believers, and true believers can do truly great things.
As for Babe Ruth... I consider him one of my most revered startup heroes.
From a speech first delivered at Designer Fair last Friday -- thanks to Enrique Allen for the invite and for coming if you attended! Also thanks to Dustin Curtis for inspiring the ideas in this essay over lunch.