And the assist goes to...

Ideas  /  Dave Mason  /  11.10.15

My partners and I recently launched a new business venture. A technology company committed to the idea of helping adults help kids better understand themselves as they strive to improve in their chosen sports.

It’s predicated on the idea that self-awareness — powered by quantitative and qualitative feedback, instruction and encouragement collected from a lot of people over time — will lead to better outcomes for young athletes not just in sports, but in life. That, plus the fact that Remembrance Day / Veterans Day and Thanksgiving are upon us, got me reflecting on how I got to be where I am and doing what I do.


I basically won the lottery the day I was born. Healthy at birth — and working hard to stay that way! Loving, intelligent, supportive parents. Awesome siblings. My family wasn’t wealthy by any measure, but we lived in affluent, peaceful, democratic countries with stable and (mostly) fair and reasonable political and legal systems. I never lacked for anything. I went to public schools, drove on public roads, read books from public libraries, played sports on community and school teams, saw doctors who were paid by the public to diagnose my separated shoulders and torn ankle ligaments. Etc. Etc. Etc.

In every phase of my life I’ve been nurtured and helped by countless people. My parents and siblings of course, but also my friends and teammates. The teachers who encouraged me to speak up with a critical voice if I didn’t agree with something. My 8th grade rugby coach, who taught me what perseverance meant. My CJFL quarterback coach, who taught me that failing is an intrinsic part of every game and every life — “When you throw the ball, three things can happen and two of them are bad. So throw the ball!” My business partners, colleagues and clients. Most definitely my wife and kids! But also by the millions of mostly anonymous people who collectively built, defend, maintain and enrich the societies in which I’ve been fortunate enough to live, work and raise my own family.


I know there are people out there who like to pretend they’re ‘self-made.’ Who claim that it’s their own hard work, smarts, and guts alone that made them successful, and whose lesson for those who aren’t quite as successful is, “well you’re just not hard-working, smart or gutsy enough”. I call bullshit on that.

It’s been a wild ride to take a tiny idea formed in my head years ago to an actual product that’s currently being used in two countries, but one thing is certain. It’s been a team effort.

There’s no way I could have taken that little idea and delivered functioning technology into the hands of hockey coaches, players and parents without the other members of the awesome team I’m part of. Or without the constant love and support of my wife and kids. But taking an even broader view, I’d never have been in the fortunate position to even form that idea without the influence and assistance of all of the people who’ve made and continue to make such a positive difference — directly and indirectly — in my life.

Yes, I’ve scored a few goals over the years, but I’ve never forgotten who set me up.

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