Being smart academically doesn’t mean you’re a genius.
I work with many startup founders in Silicon Valley. Most come from Ivy League schools and have high IQs.
Most of their startups fail.
Vanity metrics don’t mean anything when it comes to creating value.
If you’re a Harvard P.h.D. with a high IQ, but never create something valuable, then you’re not a genius. In fact, you might be an awful person for wasting your parent’s money on your expensive education.
I think geniuses create remarkable value that helps others.
I consider these two friends of mine to be geniuses:
Jack Smith, co-founder Vungle and Shyp. And in 2013, Jack started advising a few different startups like Survios, Coin, and OnFleet. Many of the companies that Jack Smith was involved with are now worth over $100 million… all before he was 27-years-old. He’s also the #1 user on Product Hunt.
Sam Parr, co-founder of The Hustle, one of the fastest growing media publications in the U.S. He’s also the co-founder of Hustle Con – a one-day conference that teaches non-technical startup tactics. The event received an attendance of 1,700 entrepreneurs this year and had featured speakers including Ramit Sethi and Andy Dunn.
I’m honored to be a part of their circle.
You’d be surprised to know we have little in common, but what we do have in common is rare.
We move forward fast with little understanding of how to get to where we’re going.
- A no bullshit attitude.
We don’t pretend to be someone we’re not. The faster we can call ourselves on our bullshit, then the faster we can improve.
- An insatiable curiosity.
We ask thousands of questions. Sometimes we’ll get hooked on a random question resulting in non-stop work until we find the answer.
- A fire to change the world.
We believe we’re here for an unknown purpose bigger than ourselves.
- An understanding of creative space.
We’re all fans of focus and respecting each other’s time. We don’t ask each other to hang out at the bar or do something semi-aligned with their interests. It’s either we’re helping get their desired result, or we’re not.
- A stubbornness to never give up until we reach our goal.
We fail more than most people. Instead of giving up, we push forward until something breaks. This may take months; this may take years.
Being friends with a genius is like seeing someone create beautiful art every day.
You don’t want to get in their way.
But if they’re missing a paintbrush, you’ll find one for them.
It’s a relationship built on giving, exploring, and helping each reach their goals.