Startups Perhaps FTX was the true poster child for the...

Perhaps FTX was the true poster child for the 2021 • starting surplus


If someone offers you’re on a rocket, you don’t ask which seat. So goes one of Silicon Valley’s favorite platitudes, one you can trace back (at a minimum) to former Google CEO Eric Schmidt and former Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.

The idea is that if you get the chance to work on something new and big, just say yes and figure out later where you fit in the organization.

The chestnut may apply in other circumstances. For example, if I were building a Very Cool Company that was perhaps about to break out and become The Next Big Thing, you might be more concerned about putting some of your capital into the company (a place on my corporate rocket ship) than exactly how the business is run (asking what seat you are buying).

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Taking a big gamble on the future without knowing all the details can pay off, according to Sandberg’s example. It can also … not. As with many corporate clichés, the rocket seat philosophy is often over-applied. Rather than being reasonable advice to be brave in the face of uncertainty, it can also be used to make stupid choices seem reasonable.

Shreya Christina
Shreya has been with for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider team, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.

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