Last night at Techstars, Ben Casnocha spoke about his experiences as an entrepreneur. Ben is easily the most impressive 20-year old you’ve ever met. At the age of 14, he was already selling software to local governments. Although young in years, he is rich in experience, and was very well-spoken and composed throughout the night.
Although Ben navigated several thoughts during his talk last night, the overarching theme that Ben emphasized was that he did not take the Textbook approach to his life. He learned by doing.
Ben used the text from an early Apple ‘Think Different’ ad as analogy for entrepreneurship, his ‘outside-the-box’ lifestyle, and his opinion that one’s life work should be measured in net impact, not in the amount of money that you make: (text below)
“Here’s to the crazy ones.
The round pegs in the square holes.
The ones who see things differently.
They’re not fond of rules.
And they have no respect for the status quo.
You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them.
About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them.
Because they change things.
They push the human race forward.
And while some may see them as the crazy ones,
We see genius.
Because the people who are crazy enough to think
they can change the world,
Are the ones who do.”
More than any other mentor at Techstars, Ben was easy to relate to because of one thing: his youth. I found myself relating to his ‘think different’ / ‘throw out the textbook’ theme. On my last days doing corporate work back on the east coast, everyone thought I was crazy to leave, although some confided to me in private they were proud of me and wish they had made bolder career moves when younger.
Turns out the best decisions aren’t the easiest, but they’re what make the bold stand out. I don’t remember learning that in school.
“So, here’s to the crazy ones… Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones that do.” ~ Apple / Think Different