Here at GoldieBlox HQ, our team is super-charged, super-motivated, and we like to approach challenges by playing to our strengths; things we refer to as our “Superpowers”
You all know Debbie by now. She’s intelligent, driven, charming and wickedly funny. Her enthusiasm for the ideas she embraces is infectious, and she’s almost impossible to say ‘no’ to. She can parallel park during rush-hour, drinking coffee, with one hand on her iPhone while singing the rap from “Waterfalls”. But none of these things are her super-power.
No, her super-power is irreverence. Debbie is completely irreverent, and it adds magic to everything she does. From punch lines to PowerPoint presentations, to the very concept that brought us all here in the first place.
Engineering toys for girls don’t sell? Who cares?!
Girls only like pink and frills and fairies? Says who?!
I love this about her; we all do. It keeps us on our toes, and prevents us from slipping in to the dangerous, crippling world of “I’m doing it this way because it’s been done before. I’m doing it this way because it’s safe. I’m doing it this way because I know how.”
In Debbie’s case, irreverence fosters innovation.
So, what about me?
I’m Lindsey. My official title here is “VP Sales”, but I’m considering changing it to “number 2” because I was Debbie’s first hire, and I like poop jokes.
As the VP of Sales, you can rightfully guess that I’m an extrovert, that I connect well with people , and that I can be pretty persuasive. These things are true, but not my super powers.
My super power actually has a lot more to do with those poop jokes.
Meet Stone and Paolo.
Yes, I have two boys. Alanis, eat your heart out.
They change everything, don’t they? Nothing ever looks the same again. Kids turn Pyrex to platinum, an improperly sliced hot-dog in to a lethal weapon, and a dirty diaper in to a comprehensive health report. I read somewhere once that these changes can be credited to something called “The Mommy Prism”. That term is a little cutesy for my liking, but the premise is that we can never see things again without putting them through the shape-shifting filter of motherhood, and I believe this premise to be sound.
I call it “parent-noia”, and it’s the reason that you’ll never see me without my cell phone.
It comes on slowly, but the effects are undeniable.The first time you’re handed your new baby, tender and vulnerable, you can’t imagine that you’ll ever have the confidence to bring that sweet creature outdoors, much less put them in a moving vehicle. We learn to diaper, swaddle and nurse. We forget to check the temperature of the bathwater. We find out, too late, that there was peanut butter in that cupcake.All the while, we’re reaching out; calling our mothers, texting our friends, scouring the internet for advice and validation.
Am I doing this right? Am I screwing up? Yes. You are. On both counts. We all are.
This is a hard pill to swallow, the hardest. There’s nothing we want more than to do it perfectly, to earn an A+. We want to nail this one. They deserve it, these babies, and the thought of making a mistake is paralyzing.
The reality, though, is that these mistakes are the good stuff. The nap-times where we’re so tired that we put their pajamas on without a diaper. The night you rush him to the hospital for a particularly bad case of gas. The time I snipped off the tip of her finger with the nail clippers. The “oops” moments that act as the great equalizer…they happen to all of us, and they make us stronger, better, braver, more cautious and more forgiving all at once.
You can’t learn without failing, and they won’t thrive if we don’t learn. And so, for our babies, we learn to fail with grace.
Enter GoldieBlox. I’m the VP Sales at a start-up. We make toys; toys that have never been made before. I’m doing things that I’ve never done before, and it’s scary. I want so badly to do it right; I want to nail this one. I can’t imagine taking this sweet creature to market, much less placing her on the shelf. But I will, our girls need me to, and I’ll make mistakes along the way.
It’ll all work out. Someday, the original members of Team Goldie will laugh about the stupid things we did this year, and I’ll laugh the hardest.
Because that’s my super-power.