In an article published by FastCompany magazine in 2013, execs and investors from Pandora, IDEO, Andreessen Horowitz, SoundCloud, and Kleiner Perkins, among other masters of disruption, share the wisdom they’ve gathered on the way to the top.
Here is a brief excerpt. To read the complete article, check out others, and obtain subscription information, please click here.
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Tim Westergren (above): Founder, Pandora: “Be sure to ‘notice’ ideas when you have them. Stop. Take the time to consider them seriously. And if your gut tells you they’re compelling, be fearless in their pursuit.”
Jimmy Wales: Founder, Wikipedia: “Whether it is a change of job, or an entrepreneurial dream, the less you NEED to spend each month, the easier it is to follow those dreams.”
Bill Ready: CEO, Braintree: “Back in the late 1990s when I was a 19-year-old engineer at Netzee—much like other bright, young, ‘hot-shot’ engineers today–I had this sense that I knew everything, and I didn’t realize the importance of really listening to those who were more experienced. What I have realized since then, is that one of the most important things you can do is to surround yourself with great people, and to listen to them.”
Alexander Ljung: CEO, SoundCloud: “It’s not about building every feature or understanding everything the first time around. It’s about creating the best, tailored experience for your community and company. I’d remind myself of the importance to leverage design as a decisive advantage and to not be afraid to challenge people to break down their knowledge into easily digestible, clearer statements.”
Bing Gordon: Chief Partner, Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers: ”The number one piece of advice I would share is to recruit a mentor. Find someone you admire who is at least one generation older, and has no direct authority over you. Lack of context and perspective can cost you months and years—with a bad career choice, an unwise relocation, short-term negotiating posture, and, generally speaking, sophomoric thinking.”
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Looking at the success trajectories of today’s disruptors — from Pandora cofounder Tim Westergren to Wikipedia’s Jimmy Wales — it’s easy to think that they had everything figured out from a young age. But many of today’s success stories learned lessons later in life that they wished they had known as they were beginning their careers. The eight investors and entrepreneurs below share the advice they wish they had gotten in their early twenties.
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The balance of the article provides an abundance of valuable information, insights, and counsel.
Here is a direct link to that material.