I’m not certain if it’s because of the great weather today, or something else, but while speaking with a couple of smart entrepreneurs, I found myself twice referencing the oft e-mailed pre-web 2.0 meme Wear Sunscreen, as a part of an otherwise cogent new venture discussion.
I’ve you’re not among the 4 million who have already watched it, or are but want to see it again:
The full-text version’s here.
The words belong to Mary Schmich of the Chicago Tribune (who I just learned is a fellow Pomona College grad). This is despite frequent attribution to Kurt Vonnegut, and supposedly delivered to high school graduating classes ranging from 1997-1999.
The quotes that presented themselves this morning, somewhat against logic and free will were:
“Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard; live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.”
I’ve followed the former and ignored the latter. If you take it as a testament to to the different demeanor of people on each coast, it seems a bit stark and unfair. Having grown up in the east with no intent of moving back, I attribute the choice a lot to the weather. I see no good reason to integrate windshield scraping into my winter commute. The trouble is that periodic weather adversity does gives you a certain preparation for unusual circumstance. With the exception ski-season pilgrimages to Tahoe, living in NorCal doesn’t present you with many of these development opportunities.
“Be careful whose advice you buy, but, be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.”
For an advisor, this point seems a little self-defeating to present to an advisee (and my paraphrased recollection of it was certainly kinder), but it gets to the same point. Advice often is given as much for the benefit of the giver as the receiver. Whether it it is helps them relive a past success, or to have a chance to correct a past mistake by preventing someone else from making it themselves, it’s not simply what it seems on the surface.
“But trust me on the sunscreen.”