Startup guru? The next major tech czar? A savvy investor? A code stud among a sea of studs?
These are the media-like labels. The ones that less than 1/100 of 1% get to. But how about all the other roles that are equally critical? Online marketing dude. Customer acquisition queen. Java god. Designer of all designers.
I have a favorite cliche (one of many I seem to share, and most come from my Dad) – “entrepreneurship is a team game not a solo sport”. We take this pretty seriously over here at TSF. The team thing resonates throughout our selection process, our 12 week program, our post-program investment decisions and finally the time we decide to allocate to our portfolio companies after they leave us.
As a grisly veteran (read old), I sometimes think back to what I was thinking at 25 or 30 years old and my career. And I keep thinking of what I know now.
Your career equals the sum parts of your experiences. Your goal should be to acquire as many good experiences as you can. This will put you in a great position to be successful in what ever role you dream about.
When I look in the mirror, I see a man that started as a developer (stop laughing it was Fortran), grew into a good product guy, took a sales/business development position (at the insistence of my bosses boss who knew I needed some stretching and a new experience), then a GM role which enabled me to use a lot of muscles, then a complete right turn to run a $25M corporate venture investment group . . . (I am bored and and going to stop. You can find the rest on LinkedIn.)
The point is all of these experiences were valuable and I would not change one of them. I may not have seen this while I was in them but I see the value now. Look in the mirror – what do you see?