Here is some advice for those of you who are a little earlier in their careers (and all of us where this never seems to change).
A few days ago I found myself talking to a fellow Heretic who, as a freshman in college, is faced with the decision how to spend the summer: Work on her startup idea or do an internship at one of the big tech companies. She asked for advice on how to make the decision. What I told her is something I was told nearly 20 years ago from one of my mentors:
Do What is Rare And Unique.
Applying this to her situation yields the question: Is working on a startup idea something she might only be able to do while in college and during the summer? Unlikely, as she has her whole life to work on a thousand and one startup ideas. However, doing an internship at one of the big tech companies might be something she indeed can only do while she is in college.
Interestingly the equation shifts once you are out of college – a mentee of mine was faced with the question of accepting a job offer from Google or starting his own company. Applying the same logic starting the company might become the rare and unique thing – if Google wants to hire you today, they likely will hire you tomorrow.
Are you pursuing what is rare and unique?