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Top 20 "Things you know
now that you wish you
knew at age 20"
Ben Ling, Khosla Ventures
@bling0
To help with this talk, I turned to my
colleagues (and twitter)
of
Over 200+ public and private responses...
.... here are the top 20
Themes
A. The importance of people and relationships
B. The importance of hustle and perseverance
C. What to Optimize for...
D. If you're going to start a company...
The Importance of People and
Relationships
#20
"Learn from not just what you do but who you do it with.
The value of surrounding yourself with a great peer
group is important for the short and long haul"
@hunterwalk, Founder homebrew
The Importance of People and
Relationships
#19
@mikeyang, Pinterest GC and Head of BizDev
The Importance of People and
Relationships
#18
"Inspire. People will do exceptional things for you because
they want to, not because they have to."
@betashop, Jason Goldberg, CEO of @fab
The Importance of People and
Relationships
#17
"The uncomfortable conversations are the most valuable
ones. Whether it is with a co-worker, co-founder, or
significant other make sure to always speak your mind and
create an environment that invites open communication. This
will be the foundation for strong relationships and the
feedback you get will be your key source of personal growth."
@logangreen CEO of @lyft
The Importance of People and
Relationships
#16
@briancaldwell, Partnerships for @evernote
The Importance of Hustle and
Perseverance
#15
@WKortschak, Senior Advisor @Summit_Partners
The Importance of Hustle and
Perseverance
#14
"I remember always being in a hurry and not having
patience. I wish someone told me that you need a lot of
patience to be great at something"
@om, Founder of GigaOM
The Importance of Hustle and
Perseverance
#13
@bentsmithfour, Founder of MerchantCircle
The Importance of Hustle and
Perseverance
#12
"Add value before you ask for value - Prove your impact by
accomplishing something before getting hung up in
discussions about compensation. Just take the initiative
and you'll become indispensable."
@sacca, founder of lowercase capital
The Importance of Hustle and
Perseverance
#11
"Work hard at something that matters to you,
sooner or later -- and the sooner the better because you
have to work hard in order to make a difference."
@eldon, co-editor at techcrunch
What to Optimize for...
#10
"Get busy unlearning and forgetting what other people and
society want and expect from you. The sooner you can stop
listening to others, the sooner you can hear your inner
voice, and get busy doing what you want to do and will
therefore be great at."
@naval, founder and CEO of @angellist
What to Optimize for...
#9
@mitch, Partnerships at @Eventbrite
What to Optimize for...
#8
"Optimize for working with great people, on hard problems,
that impact the world."
@bling0, Ben Ling, Khosla Ventures
What to Optimize for...
#7
"Pick your boss, not your job"
@rabois, Keith Rabois, Khosla Ventures
What to Optimize for...
#6
"Consider time your most precious resource"
@yishan, Yishan Wong, CEO of @reddit
If you start a company...
#5
"Attempt GREAT things. Hopefully you'll succeed, but even
if you fail you'll meet great people and have a great life
while trying. After each success or failure figure out what
your next GREAT thing is you're going to attempt."
@tomkatis, Founder and CEO of @voxer
If you start a company...
#4
"Most things are not as risky as they seem"
@sama, Sam Altman, Partner at YC
If you start a company...
#3
"Work on something you believe in deeply and don't relent
until you've reached your goal. Good things will break
your way as long as you never give up."
@Mototwit, Matt Douglass, Co-Founder @PracticeFusion
If you start a company...
#2
"A. Make sure you're building something that wasn't
possible just 18 months ago
B. Make sure you focus on something that you really want
to be working on for at least a decade."
@levie, Aaron Levie, Founder and CEO of @boxHQ
If you start a company...
#1
"I don't mind failing but if we succeed it better be worth
succeeding. Most people reduce risk to the point where the
consequences of success are inconsequential"
@vkhosla, Vinod Khosla, founder of Sun and Khosla
Ventures
Questions?

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20 things v2

  • 1. Top 20 "Things you know now that you wish you knew at age 20" Ben Ling, Khosla Ventures @bling0
  • 2. To help with this talk, I turned to my colleagues (and twitter) of Over 200+ public and private responses... .... here are the top 20
  • 3. Themes A. The importance of people and relationships B. The importance of hustle and perseverance C. What to Optimize for... D. If you're going to start a company...
  • 4. The Importance of People and Relationships #20 "Learn from not just what you do but who you do it with. The value of surrounding yourself with a great peer group is important for the short and long haul" @hunterwalk, Founder homebrew
  • 5. The Importance of People and Relationships #19 @mikeyang, Pinterest GC and Head of BizDev
  • 6. The Importance of People and Relationships #18 "Inspire. People will do exceptional things for you because they want to, not because they have to." @betashop, Jason Goldberg, CEO of @fab
  • 7. The Importance of People and Relationships #17 "The uncomfortable conversations are the most valuable ones. Whether it is with a co-worker, co-founder, or significant other make sure to always speak your mind and create an environment that invites open communication. This will be the foundation for strong relationships and the feedback you get will be your key source of personal growth." @logangreen CEO of @lyft
  • 8. The Importance of People and Relationships #16 @briancaldwell, Partnerships for @evernote
  • 9. The Importance of Hustle and Perseverance #15 @WKortschak, Senior Advisor @Summit_Partners
  • 10. The Importance of Hustle and Perseverance #14 "I remember always being in a hurry and not having patience. I wish someone told me that you need a lot of patience to be great at something" @om, Founder of GigaOM
  • 11. The Importance of Hustle and Perseverance #13 @bentsmithfour, Founder of MerchantCircle
  • 12. The Importance of Hustle and Perseverance #12 "Add value before you ask for value - Prove your impact by accomplishing something before getting hung up in discussions about compensation. Just take the initiative and you'll become indispensable." @sacca, founder of lowercase capital
  • 13. The Importance of Hustle and Perseverance #11 "Work hard at something that matters to you, sooner or later -- and the sooner the better because you have to work hard in order to make a difference." @eldon, co-editor at techcrunch
  • 14. What to Optimize for... #10 "Get busy unlearning and forgetting what other people and society want and expect from you. The sooner you can stop listening to others, the sooner you can hear your inner voice, and get busy doing what you want to do and will therefore be great at." @naval, founder and CEO of @angellist
  • 15. What to Optimize for... #9 @mitch, Partnerships at @Eventbrite
  • 16. What to Optimize for... #8 "Optimize for working with great people, on hard problems, that impact the world." @bling0, Ben Ling, Khosla Ventures
  • 17. What to Optimize for... #7 "Pick your boss, not your job" @rabois, Keith Rabois, Khosla Ventures
  • 18. What to Optimize for... #6 "Consider time your most precious resource" @yishan, Yishan Wong, CEO of @reddit
  • 19. If you start a company... #5 "Attempt GREAT things. Hopefully you'll succeed, but even if you fail you'll meet great people and have a great life while trying. After each success or failure figure out what your next GREAT thing is you're going to attempt." @tomkatis, Founder and CEO of @voxer
  • 20. If you start a company... #4 "Most things are not as risky as they seem" @sama, Sam Altman, Partner at YC
  • 21. If you start a company... #3 "Work on something you believe in deeply and don't relent until you've reached your goal. Good things will break your way as long as you never give up." @Mototwit, Matt Douglass, Co-Founder @PracticeFusion
  • 22. If you start a company... #2 "A. Make sure you're building something that wasn't possible just 18 months ago B. Make sure you focus on something that you really want to be working on for at least a decade." @levie, Aaron Levie, Founder and CEO of @boxHQ
  • 23. If you start a company... #1 "I don't mind failing but if we succeed it better be worth succeeding. Most people reduce risk to the point where the consequences of success are inconsequential" @vkhosla, Vinod Khosla, founder of Sun and Khosla Ventures