Thursday, April 12, 2007

Humility, Perspective & Expectation

Seth Levine recently wrote a very nice post on humility that really made me think. For me, humility is inextricably tied up with perspective and expectation.

I have been fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to have many amazing experiences in my life already - and if I want to 'market' them, I can make it sound pretty sweet. But when you get a chance to do something cool, it's a good bet that you will get to meet some really impressive people along the way - and they can really help put things in perspective, keep you humble, and most valuably, raise your own internal expectations for yourself.

As an adolescent, I raced sailing dinghies a bit; I have become whatever I am (no name-calling!), Adam Koch, a guy I used to sail with, became a professional kite-boarder complete with videos, Red Bull sponsorship, 'signature' board, etc. Today Valleywag ran a quick bit about how people like Sergey Brin are hot for kiteboarding these days.

Since I work in an Internet startup - an end goal might be to start one (or several) companies of my own, and go big. That's a good goal - but I know that one day Sergey will be rigging up on the beach, turn to a friend and whisper: 'Dude, I think that might be Adam Koch!' Sure keeps me humble.

Here's a great video featuring Adam doing things like hucking off the deck of an aircraft carrier on his kiteboard:

1 comment:

Andy Kleitsch said...

I'm a fellow Seattle entrepreneur, currently working on a mobile billing start-up...

Humility and Kiteboarding go hand in hand!

I bought my first (and only) kiteboard from Adam while he was working at UrbanSurf in Seattle. It's been fun to watch him explode on the scene. Great guy.

After several close-calls with injury, getting dragged across puget sound and my wife taking out a life insurance policy on me... i finally gave up the sport! :-) I'm sticking with windsurfing. Less humility.