While watching the interview yesterday of 37 Signal's Jason Fried by Andrew Warner I was surprised to hear Andrew say the following:
I would consider myself a failure if I didn't have the kind of impact that Foley Hill had, or even Malcolm Forbes or B.C. Forbes, or Dale Carnegie what's the point of living unless you go big?
If you're not big then you don't matter? This is something that is particularly hard for me to stomach and this is an interesting sentiment coming from Andrew considering how
many hackers and entrepeneurs (myself among them) find Andrew's interviews on Mixergy to be a source of inspiration.
Starting a company is a difficult process. In starting a business the founders are putting their ideas, their pride, and their money on the line. Often their friends and family will think they're crazy. Inevitably when people ask what you
do you'll launch into an awkward explanation and the person who asked eyes will begin to glaze over. Or in the words of Derek Sivers we're the "lone nuts" trying to start something and change the world in our own way.
That phrase (from Derek's recent TED talk) is particulary apt in this situation. When I was in college I first learned about starting a business from Dan Grigsby (of mobileorchard.com).
I'll always be thankful for that time in his class because it led to the founding of my first business and helped push me over the edge and towards things I love doing. If it weren't for people like Andrew, Derek, and Dan I think very few people would end up starting a business.
So this is to them. You among with many others mentor and help many lone nuts become great leaders. While it isn't always easy to see, it's a tremendous amount of influence and makes a huge difference. While it may seem small to you it's huge for the lone nuts who get to feel they have a chance to really change the world.