Reboot Podcast Episode #49 – The Tragic Gap – with Tarikh Korula

The Reboot podcast showcases the heart and soul, the wins and losses, the ups and downs of startup leadership. On the show, Entrepreneurs, CEO’s, and Startup Leaders discuss with Jerry Colonna the emotional and psychological challenges they face daily as leaders.

Episode 49 // October 10, 2016

“I want to think again of dangerous and noble things.

I want to be light and frolicsome.

I want to be improbable beautiful and afraid of nothing,

as though I had wings.”


Tarikh Korula

Tarikh Korula

Entrepreneur, Startup Advisor

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Episode Description

Startups are founded with outcome in mind– creating needed change in the world, a successful exit, or most commonly, both. Holding our desired outcomes, or endings, build the drive for our best work. But when things don’t unfold along the lines or on the trajectory we desire, it can be easy to generalize the entirety of our efforts as a failure. Tarikh Korula has founded a number of companies but has yet to achieve an exit. In this episode, Jerry and Tarikh discuss how we define failure and how we hold the tragic gap– the space between where we do the work and our often elusive end aspirations.

Tarikh Korula on Twitter

Show Highlights

Top Quotes:

“Here’s a truth it feels like…you were crushing it and you shut it down, and that feels like a paradox.” – Jerry Colonna

“It is sort of like a hall of mirrors as CEO. Things always get reflected back to you.” – Tarikh Korula

“I had duties to users, employees, and investors. I’d like to think that I acted with integrity for all of those groups.” – Tarikh Korula

“There was a time in my career where I was making very independent choices that were paying off, and I don’t feel that with this. I feel like this is a public reflection of my value, and that value is zero.” – Tarikh Korula

“I’m 44, and I don’t have an exit. In Silicon Valley and investment terms, that’s a badge that is missing on my lapel. I wonder if I am an investable entity at this point, and at this age. That has been and is an ongoing question for me.” – Tarikh Korula

“I want to be vibrant, alive, and doing the best work of my life at 87-years-old.” – Tarikh Korula

“When we disallow ourselves the process of being fully with the entire experience of who we are, we are also then complicit in a kind of diminishing of our own self.” – Jerry Colonna

“The essence of leadership is not just starting a company with heart, but it’s also ending a company with heart.” – Jerry Colonna

“What if having integrity doesn’t matter? What if it isn’t a competitive advantage? What if it’s a competitive disadvantage?”  – Tarikh Korula

“I don’t want to live a life where integrity is not as important as financial discipline and financial security.” – Jerry Colonna

“The Tragic Gap is the gap between the world that we want to exist, the world that feels like it’s out there, the world that we know is possible because we glimpse it on occasion, and the world as it is. If we stay focused entirely on the world as it could be, we run the risk of living in irrelevant idealism. But, if we give in to just the world as it is, we run the risk of giving into exactly the same kind of lack of engagement and corrosive cynicism.”  – Jerry Colonna

“Being a warrior in the tragic gap is hard.” – Jerry Colonna

“The world is always going to punch you in the face. Always.” – Jerry Colonna