Founder & CEO - Upstart
Before launching Upstart, Dave was President of Google Enterprise, where he built the company's billion-dollar cloud apps business, leading a team across product development, sales, marketing, and customer support. Dave was previously SVP of products and marketing at Virage, a pioneer in video search technology and a Product Manager at Apple. In prior lives, Dave worked in software development and consulting with Accenture and Booz Allen. He is a non-executive Director at GoodData, a leader in cloud-based business intelligence.
Letter to Myself at 20
First things first - please do something about that haircut. I realize it’s the ‘80s, but come on!
You have a lot of worries in your head, but don’t think so much about what comes next. Take pure joy in what’s left of your college experience, because you’re never going back. There are so many awesome opportunities college offers that you’ll find nowhere else (partying with your friends is not among them). So take advantage. When you have a chance to experience something new, something you’ll remember for the rest of your life, say yes a lot more than you say no. Doing well in school is important, but getting the most out of your time there matters more. Don't even think about giving up on running track - you'll regret it for a very long time. I know it feels like a huge burden, but someday you'll realize it's a gift.
When it’s time to think about what’s next, would you just relax? It doesn’t matter what your friends are doing - you aren’t them. You’re young. You have no family to take care of. No mortgage. Don’t follow what others are doing - or what you think others expect you to do. Take a chance, take some risk. Nobody really cares if you make a fool of yourself. And stop worrying.
By the way, you should really get that car checked out - I suspect it won’t survive the trip home.