A little over two months since I left my gig at YouTube. Head down working on my new thing, details soon, but noticed something rewarding as I’ve been pitching it to people. Often they ask “how long have you been working on this?” and I get to say “oh, about 39 years.” Wha????
What I mean is that my next project really comes from trying to go ‘all in’ – what can I do that’s the sum total of everything I’ve done up to this point. The experiences I’ve had, the people I’ve met, the successes, the failures, the fears. All of it.
Talking with a young founder the other day and he said, “you’re Internet famous but I don’t really know why.” I took this to mean that there’s no single accomplishment I’m tied to – I didn’t found a billion dollar company – so why the heck would people know my name. My hope would be because I’ve tried to contribute in lots of small ways to lots of people or communities. Some totally silly. Some meaningful. But it’s probably also because I’ve been fortunate enough to be part of amazing teams at Second Life, Google and YouTube. When I get mentioned in the tech press it’s usually for that stuff. No one ever covered my struggles – the 2006 promotion cycle where I got denied or fall 2008 when the YouTube monetization product team was moved out of my org because Google management didn’t think I could handle the additional responsibility. But these are all part of me – and part of what I’m doing next.
Anyway, the point isn’t to talk about myself but rather to say, life is a cumulative game, where one experience leads to the next. Keep pushing yourself. Don’t settle for a ‘meh’ job. Be willing to jump up on the table and say “we can do better.” Because the only thing I know for sure is that the best way to become an overnight success is realize it takes thousands of overnights.