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Field Notes

Field Notes #026: Drivers not Passengers

Drivers not passengers

2023 is going to be a tough year for business. Some companies will thrive, and many will go out of business.

It’s time to take a page out of Frank Slootman’s book, Amp It Up.

On the road of life, there are drivers and passengers.

Be a driver.

It’s up to leadership to set the direction and tell the team the goal, and the team needs to respond accordingly.

Everyone needs to find their car, get behind the steering wheel, and figure out how they’re going to help get the whole team to the finish line.

There’s no room for passengers to sit idly waiting for others to tell them where to go and what to do.

There’s no more time for marginal tasks and check-the-box activities.

It’s time to ruthlessly prioritize our work and focus on the highest-impact projects. 

If you’re in management, how do you give your team members, the natural drivers, the space to step up and do what they do best? How do you empower those who aren’t used to driving to take the wheel and step on the gas?

How do you nurture this approach to business and work instead of unintentionally constraining it?

If you’re an individual contributor, how are you driving? How are you managing up and telling your manager what needs to get done and then getting it done?

Buckle up. 2023 is going to be a wild ride.

1. Drivers vs. Passengers – Frank Slootman’s post on drivers and passengers.

2. Some Folks in SaaS Are Still Doing Really, Really Well – A reminder from Jason Lemkin that it’s not all doom and gloom.

3. We Published 100 Podcast Episodes; Here’s What We Learned – We’re doubling our podcast production in 2023. Here’s what we’ve learned so far. 

David Khim

David is co-founder and CEO of Omniscient Digital. He previously served as head of growth at and Fishtown Analytics, and before that was growth product manager at HubSpot where he worked on new user acquisition initiatives to scale the product-led go-to-market.