On a recent Friday afternoon, I was heads down in work when a group of a dozen or so young Asians walked in the office unannounced. It turned into a three hour chat about the meaning of entrepreneurship and life.
I felt like sharing my excitement about this chat and our new friends with you – along with a call to action.
This group of college students from Singapore took the time and money out of their own pockets to visit Silicon Valley. All but one or two had never been to the States.
Why? Like an aspiring young actress asking her parents to spend Spring Break in Hollywood just to soak it in, they sat in Singapore dreaming of the entrepreneurial lifestyle and what Silicon Valley might be like.
We talked about a lot in the three hours. But to sum it all up:
Be Young, Do Stupid
Earlier this year I spoke at the Teens In Tech conference about the challenges of being a young entrepreneur. I started pretty young, so I’ve made a ton of mistakes and faced a lot of age-related challenges.
My main advice to the very young crowd: “Be young, do stupid”. Don’t be afraid to get after it – vision is not constrained by the walls others build around you.
Skip to 2:10 to see a quick interview about a young teen who approached me about starting an airline:
Be Smart Enough To Know When You Are Lucky
If you’re like our new friends from Singapore – or like me back in school, reading everything about startups and technology you can find and dreaming of that life – don’t give up or settle for some safe job just because it’s the decision your “civilian” friends will understand.
For those of us lucky enough to be working for a startup, who are pursuing their entrepreneurial dream, or even just geeking out in Silicon Valley with fellow nerds – take a moment to appreciate the awesomeness of these opportunities and the kind of life you lead.
This life can be really hard – but if you’re anything like us, it’s also incredibly rewarding and you can’t picture it being any different. If you’re living this life – don’t forget where you came from, and do what you can to help those who think you’re the lucky one.
The isocket crew tries to do what we can. For example, our doors are open for our entrepreneurial friends to use a desk / wifi, and we enjoy their company.
Yesterday at the AngelConf gathering at Y Combinator in Mountain View, mega angel investor Ron Conway said that he hopes any entrepreneur who has the guts to start a company gets funded. But you can contribute in ways without money, too.