A Chance to be First (and the Danger Therein)


I’m currently in Durham, NC for their first official day of class at The Iron Yard.

We happen to be Durham’s first intensive code academy, something the team put on the wall of our offices. Even though I knew that fact in my mind, seeing it pasted on a wall at one of our campuses gave me pause.

We certainly aren’t the first intensive code school, but in many of the places we’re expanding to, we are the first intensive code school in that city. There’s something neat about being first—providing a product that people want to buy in a place that it didn’t exist before is part of what makes entrepreneurship exciting.

But there’s also danger in letting the idea of being first hold too much importance. Being first can provide competitive advantage, but 9 times out of 10 excellent execution is the stuff of success.

You don’t have to do it first, you just have to do it right.

—Jack Dorsey

So, today I gave my self a few minutes to smile and think about The Iron Yard being first in Durham, but now it’s back to making sure everything we do is excellent.

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Practicing the art of bringing guns to a knife fight.

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