After work today, I went to the Rose and Crown with a bunch of people from the Stanford Venture Studio, the office space/educational incubator where Bryce and I are working for the summer. We are all relatively focused in the office. We are in an open space, but we are so concentrated on our own ideas, that we don’t talk much.When we do, it is an opportunity for feedback, a great bonding experience, and an awesome way to see how other startups are making their decisions as they grow. I became a beta user of two products today. FriendCubed (friendcubed.com) and Kindred (a photobook company). I am excited to try both.
At Rose and Crown — which, by the way has the best beer selection in Palo Alto, enough to satisfy the likes of Win Bassett (@winbassett) during his time as one of the nation’s great beer writers — we talked about starting companies, how we met our cofounders, and the challenges of getting customers. More than those transactional things, though, I realized how far we have all come. Sebas, the FriendCubed member there, was already far along when he started, but other teams were raising money on a proven concept, acquiring customers, and pivoting when they came in with significantly less than all of that. Even Mark, my brother, who has been out here absorbing everything EdTech (and frankly anything else he can get his hands on) was talking about things like a veteran entrepreneur. He arrived in mid-June, and there will be a blog post dedicated to his experience soon.
This is a short post, and not particularly deep. I am really genuinely thankful for this summer. I have learned a lot. I have developed incredible relationships. There are several weeks left, and I already feel like I have become a more complete person. I have learned to deal with ambiguity in a new way. I have had a chance to royally screw up. I have been given the opportunity to recover from those screw ups. And maybe most importantly I have learned amazing lessons — both personally and professionally. That is the amazing part of business school, Stanford in particular. Every day we learn new professional things, but whether intended or not we learn personal lessons as well — inside the classroom and out.
In Office Space, Peter says “every day is worse than the day before, so every day is the worst day of my life.” I am the opposite. Thought I am reluctant to say that every day is the best day of my life — because there have been many unique high points — I consider myself extremely lucky to be here and have these experiences, meet these people, and learn these lessons. Every day builds on the last and is better than the last, and I cannot think of any better way to live life than that.