HomeLessons Learned from A Cappella

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In college, I was in an a cappella group called The Tigressions, and it was one of my most fulfilling experiences in college. Years later in real post-college life, I am routinely reminded of the many lessons I learned by being part of a group endeavor. Here are some that are relevant to software and startups:

Blend and diversity
We always talked about blend. Sure you want the great soloists but not everyone can solo all the time, and they need to be able to blend their voices with the group when singing harmony. Some girls had great solo voices, some were incredibly musical and arranged music for vocal groups, and some were very quick learners. The diversity in skills made our group stronger.

Experience isn’t everything
Most of the time all we had was a card they filled out with some of their musical experience info. What we found though, was that sometimes the ones with the most ‘promising’ cards weren’t that great. You can’t imagine how many people we auditioned who had 10 years of voice lessons but were completely tone-deaf, and how many people who said they just sing in the shower who had the most beautiful voices.

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