LIFE NOT GRIM, WITH FAKEGRIMLOCK

Illustration by FAKEGRIMLOCK

FAKEGRIMLOCK is something of folk lore in my house. It’s a human who pretends to be a fake dinosaur who writes constantly and potently with the frankness we all desire in life. My kids will probably grow up knowing what “speaking as GRIM” means in our house. Basically, it sounds like me speaking with voice immodulation syndrome.

GRIM is an avatar, a name, a persona, and a really well executed digital personality. By all means, GRIM is an identity born and beholden only to the internet and the reputation created by it.

Although perhaps not from “the middle” as we’ve focused our stories so far, it’s hard not to feel like FAKEGRIMLOCK embodies all of us, regardless of where we call home, as he’s made his home the internet. And as it states on his Twitter profile: WRITE CODE, DRINK COFFEE, KICK ASS.

BPM: Do you think geography matters in a startup?

FG: YES. PRETTY HARD TO START UP IN ANTARCTICA. NO STARBUCKS ANYWHERE. YOU FOUNDER? YOUR JOB MAXIMIZE CHANCE YOU WIN. LOCATION ONE WAY TO DO THAT.

RIGHT LOCATION HAVE 2 THINGS:

1. NEAR RIGHT PEOPLE. NOT CLOSE TO RIGHT HIRES? GROW TOO HARD. NOT CLOSE TO RIGHT MENTORS? LEARN TOO HARD. NOT CLOSE TO RIGHT PARTNERS? GET OPPORTUNITIES TOO HARD. NOT CLOSE TO OTHER AWESOME TECH PEOPLE? GET LUCKY TOO HARD. SERENDIPITY NOT JUST FANCY WORD. MANY STARTUPS WIN BECAUSE MET RIGHT PERSON AT RIGHT TIME. YOU WHERE RIGHT PEOPLE NOT? NO SERENDIPITY FOR YOU.

2. NEAR RIGHT MARKET. WALK OUTSIDE. IF PEOPLE YOU SEE NOT CUSTOMERS, YOU IN WRONG PLACE. PRODUCT MARKET FIT REQUIRE UNDERSTAND MARKET. THAT EASIER IF LIVE IN IT.

BPM: Will you tell me a joke?

FG: WHY CHICKEN CROSS ROAD? THERE NO REASON! IT JUST CHICKEN.

BPM: Your avatar is dinosaur based? They died. It’s not really your MO. Why dino?

FG: IF YOU NO UNDERSTAND WHAT AWESOME ABOUT GIANT ROBOT DINOSAUR, ME NO CAN EXPLAIN IT TO YOU. BECAUSE YOU DEAD INSIDE.

BPM: Tell me all of your opinions about politics.

FG: A. MAKE WORLD BETTER FOR MOST PEOPLE.

B. DO THINGS THAT WORK.

C. YOU DECIDE WHO YOU ARE, NOT WHO ANYONE ELSE IS. EVERYTHING ELSE PRETTY EASY TO FIGURE OUT FROM THERE.

BPM: Why do companies die?

FG: RUN OUT OF MONEY. WHY RUN OUT OF MONEY? NOT SELL THING PEOPLE WANT, OR NOT MAKE PROFIT FROM IT. FIND THING PEOPLE WANT TO PAY YOU MONEY FOR. THEN LET THEM.

BPM: What doesn’t matter?

FG: THERE 3 THINGS IN LIFE.

– THINGS THAT HELP YOU WIN.
– THINGS THAT GET IN WAY.
– THINGS THAT NOT MATTER.

NOT KNOW WHICH ONES WHICH WHY MOST PEOPLE MEDIOCRE. NO BE LIKE THEM!

BPM: What’s the best idea that’s died because of bad execution?

FG: DEMOCRACY TRYING REALLY HARD RIGHT NOW.

BPM: Do you think it matters where a company is built?

FG: SEE QUESTION ONE.

BPM: What is the most important thing?

FG: BEING AWESOME.

BPM: Why do you think so many people confuse automation with AI ?

FG: BECAUSE THEM DUMB. COMPLICATED IDEA NO FIT IN MOST HUMAN BRAIN. AVERAGE PERSON BARELY UNDERSTAND DAILY LIFE. YOU WANT THEM UNDERSTAND DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MACHINE THAT DO THINGS ON OWN AND MACHINE THAT THINK ABOUT THINGS ON OWN? THEM STOPPED AT “MACHINE.”

BPM: Bonus question, how many books did you sell while being anon?

FG: 1131 DIGITAL, 921 PHYSICAL PLUS 50 MORE ON GUMROAD SINCE THEN.

Whoever you are, Fake Grimlock, thanks for the frankness.

Ben Milne is a co-founder of Clay & Milk and the founder of Dwolla, a technology company in Des Moines.