Michael started the conversation with a story about his first foray into technology when he was a kid - his dad, an engineer, was helping him build parts for his go-kart. Through this, he learned that he is passionate about connected the dots. This is when he turned the conversation around, asking the interns about their passions. “I’m interested in learning what you’re passionate about. What’s a passion you have that you don’t know what to do with?” Michael asked. Mimi, an intern at Acquia, raised her hand to share her passion for ocean conservation and marine biology.
He moved to the whiteboard and wrote down the “P’s of Success,” which he said we’d get back to later, and asked the audience what they thought, how could we help Mimi pursue her love for ocean conservation and marine biology. This turned into a lively discussion with the entire room while Michael walked the group through the three main steps he identified as the process for pursuing a dream, passion or idea. 1) Ideate, 2) Expiration and 3) Problem/Solution.
After much brainstorming and discussion on how to pursue ideas and best practices for being successful at it. By the end of the hour-long discussion the P’s had been filled in as: Passion, Personal and Potential. Peppered throughout our discussion were stories of success, challenges and learning from Michael’s career both as an entrepreneur and as an investor to help bring the P’s and other factors for success to life.
Michael left the group of interns with a few parting words of advice, “You’re in a unique place as a student, you don’t know what’s not possible. The less you know, the less there is inhibiting you.”