Back in April I was lucky enough to be featured on WSJ talking about why I dropped out of college after two years. You can read more here: Wall Street Journal
The fact that the U.S. needs a site like DonorsChoose is quite embarrassing. Don’t get me wrong I love the site and am regularly supporting different projects, but it’s obvious that classrooms aren’t being funded enough by the government to give a quality education to all students across the country.
DonorsChoose was started about ten years ago and they’ve helped raise over $100 million dollars helping over 6 million students. Now think about this… the war in Iraq was costing us about $500 million dollars a DAY. Our war in Afghanistan is costing us about $200-300 million dollars a DAY. One can only imagine how amazing our educational system would be if we spent anywhere near that money on education. Sad how the gov’t is spending money on weapons, while I’m sitting here at home making a donation, so a kid in Chicago could have basic essentials so he/she can learn how to read and write. WTF.
With the start of 2012 I couldn’t wait to ring in the new year with one of the most overused terms of 2011, no not disruptive, not MVP, but pivot.
I was thinking about some of the notable pivots of the year while driving and my mind drifted to the radio playing a song by the Beastie Boys. When the Beastie Boys first formed over 30 years ago they were a hardcore punk band, but almost all of us know them as a hip hop trio. There are many examples of bands/musicians “pivoting” just like startups do throughout the years, Rush started as a heavy metal band and Michael Bolton started off as a heavy metal singer.
Bands in many ways are startups, they’re putting together their own MVP, they’re trying to find their product/market fit and yep, they pivot too. The early adopters are the first fans of the band and so on. There’s a ton of similarities between bands and startups, think about it.
The demand for talented developers is huge these days; it’s the equivalent of a nuclear physicist in the Cold War era. It’s a tech nuclear arms race with companies stockpiling talent, poaching away from other companies and my favorite, “no solicitation” agreements between companies to not steal away each other’s employees.
So what kind of position does that put you in as a developer? Well for one, you better be making money. Depending on how talented you are it may be just paying the bills and if you’re super talented and lucky you can start counting down the days till an early retirement. More important is that you better be loving your job. You better be showing up to work every day with a smile on your face, anxious to roll up your sleeves and start coding. You better leaving work anxious to get back into the office tomorrow to start coding again or heading home to get back at it, because you’re so damn passionate about what you’re doing.
If you’re a talented developer and that doesn’t sound like you, start looking for a new job. There’s TONS of companies hiring developers and they might not only offer more money, but you’ll enjoy what you’re doing.
About a year ago I heard about an event happening in Washington D.C. called Summit Series. The event was described as “an invitation-only event that connects top young minds and inspires a new generation of leaders to succeed in business and in life.” I looked through the lineup and I was in absolute awe… Bill Clinton, Mark Cuban, John Legend, Sean Parker, the list goes on and on with some of the top entrepreneurs, entertainers, authors, athletes, you name it… they were there. I was jealous.
Fast forward a year and I’m on the phone with one of the organizers of Summit Series and he’s inviting me to join them on this year’s gathering, Summit at Sea. I didn’t think last year’s event could be outdone, but wow it looks like I’m in store for a once in a lifetime experience. It’s a 900 person cruise ship filled with an even more impressive roster of attendees and we’re headed off to a private island for 3 days of panels and parties.
It’s about a week away till I’m in Miami and heading out on the cruise of a lifetime. I’m anxious, I’m nervous, I’m excited, I’m hopeful… I just want to meet some incredible people, learn, teach and make friends that will last a lifetime.