Startups, Best Practices (slides); Ben Horowitz at Columbia video

"Don't Follow Your Passion": Ben Horowitz's Commencement Speech at Columbia University from a16z 

Don’t Follow Your Passion: Career Advice for Recent Graduates | Andreessen Horowitz"... I learned the most valuable lesson that I learned at Columbia, which is: Don’t listen to your friends. Think for yourself. Thinking for yourself sounds both simple and trivial, but in reality it’s extremely difficult and it’s profound and here is why. As human beings, we want to be liked. It’s anthropological. If people didn’t like you in caveman days, they would just eat you. So you really have a natural built in instinct to want to be liked and the easiest way to be liked is to tell people what they want to hear. And you know what everybody wants to hear? What they already believe to be true. And so the last thing they want to hear is an original idea that contradicts their belief system. So it’s very hard to even bring that kind of stuff up. But those are the things; those are the only things — things that YOU believe, that everybody around you doesn’t believe — that when you’re right that create real value in the world. Everything else people already know. There is no value created. It’s just business as usual. So it’s so important to think for yourself ... my recommendation would be follow your contribution. Find the thing that you’re great at, put that into the world, contribute to others, help the world be better and that is the thing to follow ..."

Andreessen Horowitz, Venture Capital firm, domain name: a16z.com

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