Friday, June 03, 2016

Dropbox CEO Offers Great Advice for College Graduates

In this week's New York Times Corner Office column, Adam Bryant interviews Drew Houston, the CEO of Dropbox.   Houston has some terrific advice for college graduates.   I would argue that it's great advice for all of us, of any profession or stage of life.

I did the commencement speech for M.I.T. in 2013. I said that if I had a cheat sheet that I could give myself at 22, it would have three things on it: a tennis ball, a circle and the number 30,000.

The tennis ball is about finding the thing you’re obsessed with. The most successful people and successful entrepreneurs I know are all obsessed with solving a problem that really matters to them. I use the tennis ball for that idea because of my dog, who gets this crazy, obsessed look on her face when you throw the ball for her.

The circle is really about the idea that you’re the average of your five closest friends, so make sure to put yourself in an environment that pulls the best out of you. And the last is the number 30,000. When I was 24, I came across this website that says most people live for about 30,000 days. So you have to make every day count.

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