It's an honor to share a room with Rick Turoczy everyday. Really. And this talk he gave on humility exemplifies why. The story of the woman who keeps a slip of paper in her pocket that says, "He might be right" gave me goosebumps. Rick practices what he preaches and models this value to companies he mentors, including ours. See more on The (Humble) Path Less Taken here.
Today I met with a recent Reed graduate who has been a long-time fan of Switchboard and inexhaustible evangelist. She was telling me all about her post-graduation trip to Latin America: 30 hour bus rides, the pleasures and perils of staying in hostels, that moment when, with $800 crumpled in your hiking boots it crosses your mind that maybe you should change your ticket and go home early. She walked me through every city and town and then she got to Buenos Aires. Everything clicked. She found an English speaking comrade, a community of friends. She found a jiu-jitsu studio and worked out a trade with the owner: she'd clean the gym in exchange for classes. So what changed? Was there some pivotal moment? And then she said something that embodies what Switchboard stands for.
I think this is the engine that has powered anything that is good.
I’ve been thinking about perceived failure and being wrong. I keep coming back to talk by Kathryn Schulz and this classic Wieden+Kennedy commercial for Nike. One of the best questions asked on the PIE application was to describe a moment of spectacular failure. If I ever started an incubator of my own I think I’d call it “Fallor ergo sum.”