Words of widsom from my youth


I’m preparing for a presentation in about a month at the University of Michigan.  It’s a speech on entrepreneurship to a few hundred students, faculty and others.  As part of my research I’m going back and reading the boxes and boxes of notes and pictures from my time at Michigan, particularly my time on the solar car team.

I was struck by one sheet of paper.  You can see it below.  It has no title and it’s just there in a stack of papers with some bullet points:

  • The journey is the reward
  • When they said I had big shoes to fill–I said “don’t worry” I brought my own
  • What goes right is the result of teamwork, what goes wrong is my fault
  • Don’t give people goals–give them direction
  • The best way to predict the future is to invent it
  • If you’re not making some mistakes, you’re not taking enough chances

I must have wrote this in 1991 or 1992 when I was team leader of the University of Michigan solar car team.  I love all of my “advice” except maybe point #4.  I’m still on the fence on that one and frankly am impressed that I had a point of view some 20 years ago.


UPDATE: Just to be clear, these are just quotes I no doubt copied from others. I know the first one is the title of Steve Jobs book published in the late 80s (in fact, you can see that I even attributed it to Jobs before scratching it out!  The quote about inventing the future is by Alan Kay, one of the early guys at Xerox PARC.  I don’t remember writing this list or what I used it for, if anything, but they must have caught my attention then and all these years later I still think they’re great.