I host student groups from all around the world from time to time to talk with them about entrepreneurship, Mozilla, the lessons we learned along the way and my personal journey. Yesterday I had a group of engineering students from Germany at Mozilla HQ — they are on a ten day tour through Silicon Valley meeting with large companies such as Google or Twitter, startups, VCs and incubators. Their visit at Mozilla is smack in the middle of their trip — and they told me something which made me stop in my tracks.
After giving them my view of entrepreneurship, why I believe that entrepreneurs are the ones who will make our world better and ending on the note that whatever they do in their life they should do something they are deeply passionate about, they mentioned that literally every other person they talked to focussed solely on telling them about the need for fast growth, profits and high exits.
It baffles me that all they hear in Silicon Valley is centered around money. Now — don’t get me wrong: There is nothing wrong with making money or working towards a large exit for your startup. But you should do it for the right reason — which is: You need to be deeply passionate about it. Otherwise it is just not worth it.
P.S. Just in case you’re interested — this is the deck I presented.