Sep 28, 2020

Success in a tough economy requires balance, not brawn

The economic environment under COVID is volatile, which makes temperance and a measured approach tougher than ever—and all the more impressive to achieve. This year, I’m particularly interested in partnering with entrepreneurs who exemplify an ability to reconcile opposing forces and tensions, even when under pressure. Here’s my advice for how to achieve this sense of balance—and why investors are likely to find the skill more valuable than ever.

Authenticity Balanced with Preparedness

I look for partners both in business and in life who are the real deal. The pandemic has put a lot into perspective, making it harder to justify investing time and effort with people who seem to lack authentic intent. I am a judge on Shark Tank, and every season there is at least one entrepreneur more focused on saying what he or she thinks the sharks want to hear than on what is truthful. These entrepreneurs turn everyone off and rarely walk away with a deal. People are skilled at sniffing out a gimmick, so be real, honest, and sincere—even when you have bad news to share. On the other hand, don’t confuse being authentic with flying by the seat of your pants…

Read more on Fast Company

COVID-19          Entrepreneurship          Investing

More from Daniel

End of Year Note 2023

Dear Friends,

As we approach the close of this tumultuous year, I am reflecting on the challenges we’ve experienced in pursuit of our mission to foster kindness in the US and across the world. 

It has been a difficult journey marked by the rise of extremism, lack of civility, and various forms of racism – including a dramatic rise in antisemitic attacks and reports of anti-Muslim hate – that have tested the fabric of our humanity.

In times like these, we face a choice: to be Builders, united in our efforts to construct a better world, bring light, and reach out to the “other” — or to be Destroyers that aim to divide and diminish.

While social media amplifies voices of hate and extremism, we cannot allow ourselves to be consumed by anger or to become more radical ourselves. When we do, we unwittingly contribute to greater division.

To build, we must commit to develop the skills to bridge differences and solve problems across lines of difference (for concrete tips on how to do so, read this letter and listen to this Axios podcast with Lonnie Ali, co-founder of the Muhammad Ali Center, sharing concrete tips on how to do so). We must cultivate the habits of curiosity, compassion, and courage to embrace authentic pluralism.

read more

Terrorist Attacks by Hamas- Builders vs. Destroyers

As someone who has dedicated my life to build bridges between people, most centrally among Israelis and Palestinians committed to resolve their conflict and build a better future for their children (ie., OneVoice & PeaceWorks Inc), I hope everyone will unanimously and vocally condemn the appalling terrorist attacks by Hamas. Hamas proudly targeted women and children as hostages. Ukrainian President Zelenskyysaid it best: terror like that perpetrated by Hamas must be eradicated or else violent extremism metastasizes and harms us all.

read more

You can’t make big ESG commitments while failing at the basics of kindness

Ultimately, what we achieve as corporate leaders, even in the form of social impact, must work hand in hand with how we go about achieving it. How we act along our journeys is at least as important as–if not more so than–the destination. For example, if we are donating a portion of profits to at-need communities, but not being open-minded, respectful, and honest in how we lead in the workplace, we risk undermining our larger goals by contributing to a disrespectful, intolerant, or unethical culture. In fact, a company with no stated social mission that is modeling positive values like integrity and respect may be doing more good for our world than one with a big ESG commitment failing at the basics of kindness.

read more