Forget passion, focus on process

It’s something we’ve seen in our Bootstrapped, Profitable, and Proud series. Braintree processes credit cards. You won’t meet too many people who claim to “love” credit card processing. Even Braintree’s Bryan Johnson admits, “I’m not particularly passionate about payments, but I am passionate about trying to build a good company.” Johnson gets satisfaction from making customers happy, creating a workplace that employees enjoy, and improving “an unscrupulous and broken industry.”

via Forget passion, focus on process – (37signals).

In the end being passionate about your product or being passionate about building a company doesn’t matter in my opinion, as long there is passion. But I do agree with Matt there are some troubles with passion. It clouds your judgement for example when done wrong.

Michiel Sikkes shared an article about The Passion Trap this week, which I think is a nice addition to the post by 37Signals:

The passion trap is a cycle: A pattern of beliefs, choices, and behaviors that are linked to each other. It’s a self-reinforcing pattern. Each of us has probably been a true believer in some great idea, some big idea. If I have an idea that I believe in strongly, that’s a core belief I have, so I make decisions and choices based on those beliefs. I also interpret data from the environment that tends to support my beliefs, and then I take actions, and those actions create some kind of results that can be evaluated.

There are two sneaky things about the passion trap, it tends to operate at a subconscious or unconscious level, so we’re often not aware that these cognitive biases or these filters are at work, and we actually believe that the world or the marketplace is confirming our thesis about the business.

via How to Avoid the Passion Trap.

Maybe it just comes down to ‘Keep it real’. Be passionate, but try to keep thinking outside your comfort zone. In the end I’m a strong believer that the opportunity to follow your passion in your work is a great gift you should grab with both hands.


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