Finishing

Today, our eldest child graduates from college.

Last night, as we were leaving a house party with all of her friends and their parents and family members, Jess said "thanks for sending me to college dad". I replied "thanks for graduating Jess". Everyone got a chuckle. But I was dead serious.

Dropping out of college is all the rage today in startup land (even dropping out of high school). And when it comes to our business, we really do not care if someone went to or graduated from college. We have funded many college dropouts and will continue to.

But there is also something to finishing something you started.

Yesterday afternoon, all thirtyish art students who had completed a year long senior thesis project did a group show at the Zlikha Gallery at Wesleyan. These young adults had each worked all year long on their projects and the works are impressive. The Gotham Gal negotiated a sale with one of the young artists. The first the young woman had ever made. But the most impressive thing to me was the sense of accomplishment these young artists felt. They all started with a big idea, then had to struggle with the work, the doubts, the mistakes, and in the end they all delivered big time. More than the diploma and the cap and gown they will wear today, that year long struggle and delivery is what they will take into the world as they leave college today. They finished something hard.

Finishing is about discipline, committment, getting up and getting at it. I am a big fan of finishing. And I am so proud that Jessica has finished college today. Congrats Jess.

#life lessons

Comments (Archived):

  1. jason wright

    but also know when something isn’t working, have that instinct, and act on it.

  2. Vineeth Kariappa

    “Graduates have a better chance with God”, when do we get the next requirement ?

  3. Avi Deitcher

    Congratulations on the graduation, but especially congratulations on raising a child with discipline, dedication and determination. Hats off to you and the Gotham Gal.

    1. fredwilson

      Thanks

    2. Matt A. Myers

      Lead by example probably has some impact here. 🙂

  4. Avi Deitcher

    Apropos graduation rates, by Richard Vedder (U Ohio economist), from Bloomberg on Wed: http://www.bloomberg.com/ne

  5. JimHirshfield

    Congrats. Lots to be proud of. Finishing is hard. Starting is easy. It’s become more widely understood that it’s easier to start a company… And more people are doing it. Do they know it isn’t necessarily any easier to finish? And by finish, I mean make it a going enterprise.

    1. PhilipSugar

      Exactly right starting is easy finishing is hard.Finishing is where the reward is. Its easy to start a project to build a beta.Its hard to do all of the work to turn that from a project to a product because at least 80% of the work is ahead of you, and much of it is not the fun easy kind.

  6. Cam MacRae

    Jess, if you read the old man’s blog, congratulations!

  7. takingpitches

    She and her class are very talented as demonstrated by GG’s pics of their works a few weeks ago. Congrats!!

  8. arunpc

    Congratulations Jess. Thank you for this great post. My brother graduated this year from State Univ of NY and this is just a apt post for the moment. Completing something really tells something about character.

  9. Tom Labus

    Congrats to the Wilson family on this happy day.

  10. kidmercury

    Congratulations to your daughter, but here’s the thing: college is expensive. Obviously you can afford it, but for most folks its not worth it to begin with, and they should cut their losses asap.

    1. LE

      It’s more like a bell curve. The people least likely to be able to afford it get big help in paying for it. It’s the people in the middle that have a harder time.

      1. kidmercury

        What kind of help are they getting? Probably loans they can’t afford, though thats not really helping as they have to pay it back, and cannot even get out of it through bankruptcy. They are ruining their financial future by going to college.

  11. jmcaddell

    Fred, this post reminded me of an old post I wrote many years ago, applying the basketball metaphor ” finishing” to business: http://blog.pennlive.com/sh… To me, finishing is one of the top skills you need for success in business and life. Bravo to jess and all graduates this month for their accomplishments.

  12. Carl Rahn Griffith

    Will never forget my wife graduating as a mature student a few years ago, and so enabling her to become a teacher. Thought my heart would burst with pride. Amazing feeling.Very well done. Wonderful occasion; a seminal moment. Enjoy!

  13. awaldstein

    Kvelling is my favorite yiddish word for what we as parents feel when our kids just do it right.

    1. William Mougayar

      I had to look up that word up :)kvell |k(ə)vel| verbfeel happy and proud

      1. awaldstein

        We kvell over the things that make us happy as parents.Too much kvelling can cause you to plotz.In my house growing up Yiddish was the language of the adults. We learned to understand it but it’s faded almost completely. Such is life I guess.And yes…I did grow up in a scene from a Woody Allen movie it seems at times;)

        1. ShanaC

          hahahaha – you can always retake yiddish – it is going through a revival right now (to the point where you can take a vacation upstate to learn yiddish and work on an organic farm)

          1. awaldstein

            Was thinking you might chime in Shana.Yup, the intersection of Yiddish speaking immigrants, working class lifestyle with a 100% focus on everything for the education of the kids was my world.When I look back on that close, loud, overt family upbringing wrapped in extended families and tradition, it was remarkably satisfying.

    2. laurie kalmanson

      bubbeleh

  14. William Mougayar

    I remember this line from a commencement speech:”When you leave here, don’t forget why you came.”Congratulations to Jessica on her graduation. But she is also a graduate of your family’s up-bringing and values, and that education is probably more valuable than any college degree.

  15. Matt A. Myers

    The issue I used to struggle with is that there really is no end to my overall goal in life, so it’s learning how to be happy and content with milestones, and deciding what types of milestone is satisfying as a completion point takes awhile to learn for oneself too.The last ‘official’ certification I completed after highschool was my 200-hour intensive yoga teacher training I did two summers ago. Prior to that I hadn’t felt like I had really accomplished anything else because my own projects are and will always be an ever-evolving whatever – or at minimum the reward didn’t match the current stresses I was under, and with no end in sight, at the time was very troubling.Reaching a pay window as a point of finishing for entrepreneurs isn’t a healthy mind-frame to be working under. I’m not sure what an equivalent in the startup world would be, other than milestones that move you forward – and that have taken discipline, commitment, getting up and getting at it. Sure, IPO’ing to then have more funds to continue to explore your vision and bring your vision sounds good – though most won’t get there; College and university in the same token aren’t structure for everyone, and so that as a finishing point isn’t healthy for everyone either.

    1. falicon

      +1

    2. Matt A. Myers

      I was in a rush to go to yoga, so I forgot -Congrats to Jess. 🙂 Also to realize, it’s not generally the material you learned that’s important, it’s going through the process and understanding how long certain things take; Persistance is how you can work toward changing anything, and if you want to change the world it will just take a bit longer.

  16. Guest

    1. PhilipSugar

      Only means you need a good partner.

  17. Richard

    One of life’s challenges is that not everything has a defined finishing point.

  18. Anne Libby

    That’s “shipping”! Congratulations to all.

  19. falicon

    Congrats to Jess!I struggled emotionally for many years with the issue of having not finished college…as a developer I find that software is never *really* finished…and outside of the occasional, and painful, closing of a failed business most business that I’m involved in are never *really* finished either…which adds up to a feeling like I don’t finish quite a bit in my life. That emotion was one of the biggest motivating factors for me to write the books that I did (because they had a hard finish line – date they were published).

  20. CJ

    Congrats to her and you by extension! Finishing is the hardest skill to master but it’s the best to have by far.

  21. Brandon Burns

    More than finishing, I think there is something to be said for traditional experience.Folks drop out of college and/or launch startups at a young age because they shun traditional paths to success. That’s fine, but it says a lot about a person who works with the system and wins, instead of skipping the system altogether. Getting a good grade on a thesis, landing a job in a good company, managing projects, leading teams, growing into managerial positions — and navigating all the work, politics, and traditional red tape that comes along with those things — takes a strong person who learns very important lessons along the way.Personally, I think shunning traditional experience is not good at all, and the negative aspects are clear in the startup community. That’s why there are so many people blogging about how to hire, how to manage people, how to do basic marketing things — all tasks that would have learned had folks gotten traditional jobs and stayed in them long enough, and worked up the chain, to gain the experience needed to do these things. Instead, they quit and they’re ill equipped.We can shun the old ways of doing things all we want, but we’re only missing out on valuable tried and true lessons that are all going to have to be learned at some point anyway.

    1. Anne Libby

      Brandon, this is very thought provoking.While some of the more traditional ways of managing are indeed “tried and true,” I also don’t think they’re being taught institutionally the way they once were. There are some notable exceptions, in firms that actively work to retain people for a time span that might equal a learning curve.And there was plenty of room for improvement in the old ways, in terms of ability to see talent in a broad range of people.More to ponder on this, but also more to do offline today! Thanks for your thoughts.

      1. JLM

        .I used to think I was the only person left who embraced the inspiration of Kipling.I remember that poem and it is a great one.Well played.JLM.

        1. James Ferguson @kWIQly

          JLM – have you forgotten our exchanges ? ;)Or was it “The light that failed” ?

          1. JLM

            .Haha, that makes 3 of us. Fair play.Where you been?JLM.

          2. James Ferguson @kWIQly

            Had some finishing to do ! and some starting. That’s when life is best when the milestones blur as you drive past. But every one counts!

      2. Brandon Burns

        nice poem. too bad so many people don’t read them anymore!

    2. JLM

      .Well played and said.We return to the old ways thinking they are the new ways when they were the right ways. All along.JLM.

      1. Brandon Burns

        old is new when its right — i like that. should be a t-shirt or poster or something. 🙂

    3. Matt A. Myers

      A little unfair in some ways as there just aren’t enough positions to gain experience by working up the chain to get experience. Also so many factors you can’t know about when someone is in a traditional system – such as the home parenting, environment, skills taught at home and growing up, etc.. The children / people that excel at some point had good mentors and role models to help them through situations they needed help getting through – and there are many people by highschool age haven’t had that guidance and help to then allow them to focus and learn well in a balanced life.Education has to become a dynamic, fluid-allowing system. Life events happen – “everyone has a plan until you get punched in the face” – and if that traditional system isn’t capable of helping you rebound or rather absorb the blow of the punch then it’s going to hurt a lot more, for a lot longer.

      1. Brandon Burns

        I won’t disagree. A traditional path isn’t for everyone. I simply advocate respect for those who made it pretty far down one.

    4. ShanaC

      I’m not sure – while I think the knowledge gap is significant one of the smartest people I know about corporate culture made the point that most of America’s companies are basically run by a core group of lynchpins, without which the company would fall apart due to politics and the fact that most people can’t actually perform their job,I’m part time at a BigCo and most of the time I am thinking about how I’m learning what NOT to do and very little what TO do. And that reflects so poorly at the bigco experience

      1. Brandon Burns

        I don’t think merely working in a big company gets you anything. But there’s something to be said for those who do AND rise through the ranks, learning everything they needed to make that happen along the way.Let me put it this way: I’d rather hire someone who grew into a position where s/he managed a team of 20 people and a budget of $1MM than someone who spent their career doing smart side projects but knows nothing about working in a business environment. But the person who spent 10 years in a big company and it didn’t amount to much — that’s who I’d never hire at all.

        1. LE

          “doing smart side projects”The people that are most ill equipped to find a new job if they lose their old job (and a similar job isn’t available) are people who have a very specialized job working for a large corporation and have hone a single skill. I’m always amazed at new older entrepreneurs and some of the basic skills they lack. (That’s one of the reasons franchises are big with corporate people.)

        2. ShanaC

          i don’t think it is a or b, I also notice that up to a point, many companies are like public school and you get a promotion (aka title change) because (particularly banking, consulting, and law – big places to hire already vetted talent supposedly)I also realize that in a lot of ways my experience is not the rule.

    5. LE

      “That’s fine, but it says a lot about a person who works with the system and wins, instead of skipping the system altogether”A great comment. Instead of people constantly rejecting the status quo and whining about how unfair the current system is they should realize that there are others who are able to understand and play the game. That are able to get into a good college w/o the best sat scores by being creative and overcoming adversity. And work hard to be the one who gets the job after college. Which takes effort which is what most people don’t want to do. They want a shortcut.”and the negative aspects are clear in the startup community.”The startup communities objectives are self serving (which is fine and to be expected I don’t begrudge it as I do what is in my best interest in general) and to the benefit of that community not to any particular individual.One of the things is is that some of the people following the movement don’t have the life experience to understand what is going on here and how they are being used in a sense. The people in the startup community that egg people on aren’t going to clean up the mess in any individuals life when things don’t work out. They will of course give them another opportunity to gamble on another idea. Which is, if you believe the metrics, what typically happens more often than not. Now if you have a plan b or something to fall back on (family or a job waiting) that might be ok. But not everyone is in that position.Right now there is a difficult job market for graduates. One of my daughters graduates next year from college. I’ve told her countless times that she needs to spend her senior year doing whatever is necessary to make sure she has a job when she graduates while her classmates are enjoying themselves and having fun. (We’ll see how that works out horse to water thing but I’m at least attempting to do that).

      1. Brandon Burns

        head nodding all the way through

      2. FAKE GRIMLOCK

        STARTUP SYSTEM IS TOSS YOUNG INTO THE FIRE, SIFT THROUGH ASHES FOR ONES THAT SURVIVE.IT ONLY BAD NEWS FOR ONES NOT KNOW WHAT A FIRE DOES.

    6. FAKE GRIMLOCK

      WIN INSIDE SYSTEM GOOD INDICATOR YOU CAN WIN INSIDE SYSTEM.SAY NOTHING ABOUT WIN OUTSIDE IT.

    7. Guest

      It’s hard to find something that it isn’t fueled by politics. That’s why we leave and never look back.

  22. pointsnfigures

    Congrats to her. A few of our friends sent their kids to Wesleyan too. My daughter graduated from Davidson College in North Carolina last week. Was a great experience for her (rigorous as heck). It was hard not to cry when she got her diploma. Was happy and proud of her. (and happy I don’t have to write checks anymore!)I agree, economics of going to college and having a degree, any degree change your life. Gary Becker has done a lot of research on this. A mentor told me to drop out of school and go to the trading floor. I was glad I didn’t. The world of work is always there. College and those particular years aren’t.The problem with kids these days is they have been told to follow your passion-but they need a skill or rubric to follow it. It’s rare that the opportunity for success in a particular business exists only at that time. The kids that drop out of school and succeed are statistical outliers. Most of us are in the bell curve.

    1. William Mougayar

      Congratulations to your daughter as well, Jeff. Graduations are very special and their memories last forever.

    2. Brandon Burns

      congrats to your daughter, and fred’s too!

    3. JLM

      .Plus Davidson is one of those last remaining truly “Southern” schools and institutions which still teach and develop a bit of character.If one were making a Southern university movie set, it would look like Davidson.Congratulations. Well played.Plus one has to study pig BBQ sooner or later and D’son has some of the best in the South. Can I get an AMEN for Souhern pig Q?JLM.

      1. pointsnfigures

        Amen-and just because of ShanaC Mazel Tov to southern pig q!

    4. ShanaC

      Mazel tov to you too.

    5. FAKE GRIMLOCK

      COLLEGE GREAT SYSTEM FOR TEACH PROFESSIONALS SKILLS THEM NEED SOLD TO 80% OF COUNTRY THAT NOT NEED THOSE SKILLS.

  23. Mike

    I think the first time I heard about tumblr, as I recall you wrote that one of your daughters had come home from Wes and said that was what all the cool kids did, Since I have a Wes graduate, that sparked an interesting discussion about present day cool kids. Congratulations to mom, dad and student.

  24. JLM

    .I will take the “under” on this argument.Accomplishing things — seeing challenges through to the end — is a vital element in developing a full life, in building a tradition of success, in collecting scalps (counting coups for you Westerners) and in developing real character.In raising children there is nothing better than laying out a course of action and seeing it through to a successful end.The number one predictor for success at the 3 and 4-star General officer level is Eagle Scouting. Eagle Scouts undertake a rigorous course of action over a protracted period of time. You cannot get to the finish line with a head fake. It takes real work.While it is vogue to focus on the outliers — the recent big news out of Yahoo and Tumblr leaps to mind — I think the vast majority of folks are not going to be Instagram/Tumblr heroes and, even so, I am not prepared to applaud that course of action for the masses.We need to test ourselves. To prove to ourselves that we can wrestle with the Devil and win. If we lose the first round, then we go best out of 3 and then best out of 5 — until we win the match.College is particularly important not because of the mastery of a particular course of action but for the development of critical thinking. Critical thinking is the big takeaway. The ability to observe, inquire and think through uncertain situations.Get those sheepskins, mount those heads, count that coups.Build on it and develop your character. The marketplace will still be there when you graduate. That merciless bitch is waiting for you.Godspeed and good hunting to all graduates. Well played. Well stayed.JLM.

    1. LE

      “Eagle Scouts undertake a rigorous course of action over a protracted period of time.”Curious if there is any data on success of eagle scouts in small business or entrepreneurship. (My gut would say it would be counter indicated….)

    2. fredwilson

      i am an eagle scout. i should get some photos from my mom of my younger self wearing my uniform.

      1. JLM

        .Exhibit one for the prosecution — Fred Wilson Eagle Scout and successful venture capitalist.Not by accident did these two things both happen.Case closed.Well played.JLM.

  25. ShanaC

    First off – Mazel Tov Jess!And the piece of life advice (that I got from friends and family) – college is the last time someone is going to make you read a book in order to get you to think (unless you go to a phd program or back to a nonprofessional grad program). Now is the time to find those books yourself and read them with your new skill in how to read, because if you don’t, there is no one making you anymore

  26. matthughes

    That’s wisdom right there.Kudos to all college grads this season.

  27. Scott Barnett

    Congratulations Jess and the Wilson family. A college diploma is a worthy effort.One of the reasons we are having our daughters fund a portion of their college education is for many of the reasons you indicated here. We believe part of their education is taking ownership for their actions and decisions – where (and how much) to pay for college, whether to quit, what to study – these are all important decisions and too many kids don’t understand the full weight of these decisions if they are getting a “free pass” from others to attend and finance their college education. Of course I’m not judging – there is a strong part of me that feels it’s my duty as a parent to provide for their education – until they are able to support themselves. So I totally get why parents feel they should do this. But we felt the ownership needs to be shared, so that decisions are fully felt by our kids.In any case, what is Jess planning on doing post-graduation?

  28. Mark Essel

    Congrats to Jess, you must be proud Fred! Completing a degree is a win.From a guy in the trenches of a young company, finishing is all I ever think about. There’s a cost to not seeing the neighborhood though. I catch glimpses of what’s going on around me at the edge of my awareness. I’m choosing to ignore other opportunities while I build.In engineering and dev work I bump into nontraditional educations all the time (some of these devs are the best).

  29. James Ferguson @kWIQly

    Congratulations to Jess, GG and you.Old fashioned it may be, but I feel a lot of the credit is often down to family stability.If you say “till death us do part” – and mean it – it can be the start of something that never finishes but is passed down through generations.No disrespect to those who have suffered failed relationships.The key thing is that when you embark on something and give your word, you can never take it back, but you can reduce its value. You appear to have taught that – and that is an education they don’t sell.Well done !

  30. kirklove

    The question is did they finish the keg? #kegger

    1. fredwilson

      No they did not. I returned it half empty

      1. Cam MacRae

        To be fair your kegs are huge compared to the rest of the world.(Anyone else having trouble logging in to disqus with chrome? I haven’t been able to log in for a week (iOS, Linux)).

  31. RichardF

    Congrats to Jess, if she is not already hugely grateful to gg and you for the opportunity I am sure she will be.I am way back on the track when it comes to childrens achievements but they are all some of the most special moments we have.

  32. FAKE GRIMLOCK

    FINISH THINGS THAT MATTER.BE FINISHED WITH THINGS THAT NOT.

    1. Jeff Pester

      That good. This also good:”Finishing races is important, but racing is more important” ~ Dale Earnhardt

  33. FAKE GRIMLOCK

    TELL ELDEST SPAWN THE DINO APPROVES.

    1. fredwilson

      Will do. Thanks

  34. Guest

    couldn’t resist to comment on this: most people who drop out of college have made a choice to study stuff that others may have recommended them or what their parents wished. my experience has shown me that people would never drop out of collage if what they wished to learn matches with what interests them. this is rare and great and should be actually the rule rather than an exception. your daughter must be lucky to study something which correlates with her dream – just like me.

  35. Guest

    couldn’t resist to comment on this: most people who drop out of college have made a choice to study stuff that others may have recommended them or what their parents wished. my experience has shown me that people would never drop out of college if what they wished to learn matches with what interests them. this is rare and great and should be actually the rule rather than an exception. your daughter must be lucky to have studied something which correlates with her dream – just like me.

  36. Matt Zagaja

    Fred,Congratulations to your daughter. Finishing something like college takes grit and discipline. Two qualities that will serve well wherever she may end up. Two qualities that are important in entrepreneurship (just look at Elon Musk and Tesla). We can debate whether college is right for everyone, but for those that go, they acquire experiences and skills that make their lives richer regardless of what is next. Good luck to her, you should be proud.

  37. Paul Sanwald

    congratulations to your daughter and family, fred. that’s a great accomplishment. I dropped out of college for a year to work as a guitarist in a touring band, and it’s one of the best decisions I ever made, followed closely by the decision to drop back into college and finish my CS degree. there was something about leaving and coming back that was very motivating to me.

  38. kidmercury

    here is a clip from CNBC that just came out regarding college that i thought was worth sharing. one stat covered in the video is that 2 year grads earn more than 4 years. another point is that while college grads do still earn more, the gap has been narrowing sharply.http://video.cnbc.com/galle

  39. Kirsten Lambertsen

    Go, girl! When you finish something, yourself, no one can take that accomplishment away from you.

  40. Guest

    College isn’t free. And not everyone has rich parents.The financial burden I (and my parents) would be under from taking on more loans was a significant factor in my decision to leave. I wasn’t a happy “Customer” either. (And yes, anyone who pays for something is a customer, don’t say “student” or “patient” unless they’re getting it for free). So why continue to throw more money at something that you’re not satisfied with? I was worried what others would think of me when I did it, but they eventually shut up.I’ve already shared my views on education on this blog (and many others) before. Really it’s your life, if you don’t like something, then do something else. Don’t waste years trying to impress people. If you want join a frat and party, then do that. Or start a company if you’re too cool for school. It’s up to you. And if someone doesn’t like your decision, call them and say you’re with the University Alumni Association asking for money and see how eager they really are about Academia.

  41. MichaelMcBain

    My university career began in the late 1970s, and I subsequently pursued two further masters degrees. But the friends I made back then are still friends now. I may not see them very often, as they pursue their own high-flying careers, but the memories of those days spent in [a real] pursuit of knowledge have not dimmed. I suspect,like me, that your daughter will always to be grateful to her alma mater for the tangible and intangible things it has given her.

  42. Richard

    talk about finishing…Listen to the last 15 minutes of the interview of Steve Jobs in the film “the lost interview” circa 1995Moderator “Whats your vision of 10 years from now?”Steve the web will become the tool for communicating and will have a profound effect on society and because microsoft doesnt own it there will be a tremendous amount of innovationthe smallest company in the world will be able to look like the largest company in the worldthe web will be the defining social moment

  43. RacerRick

    Congrats, Fred.

    1. fredwilson

      Thanks

  44. Guest

    Congrats to you and you’re daughter.I was in the same boat – graduating this year, finishing school so finally my co-founder and I could start building our startup until I got a letter this week saying i didn’t qualify over 3 general electives I needed to take.Personally, It didn’t hurt me because I don’t value my degree at all but telling my mom hurt like hell because she was so happy that I was finished, she congratulated me before i finished exams. I felt like i took that happiness away from her as a parent and the bragging rights that would have been hers when she saw me walk up to get my degree. She paid my rent when I couldn’t afford, sent me emergency cash when I ran out of money for food.So I cried while telling her even if she took it well. Although I’m full steam on the startup grind, I still intend to finish up those 3 general electives (take 3 bird courses online) so she can see me get my Finance degree next year.

  45. Sean Hull

    Absolutely agree. Congrats Fred to you & yours. Pushing through when the going gets tough and persevering, that’s what wins in the end. Often the hardest part is at the eleventh hour, when obstacles, and doubts surface. But as you say it really carries through and parallels other pursuits you’ll follow in life. Startups involve a lot of challenges and perseverance wins the race.

  46. laurie kalmanson

    congrats!!!

  47. Justin Gray

    Thank you for posting this. I chose to enter NYU at 32 years old specifically for the entrepreneurial environment, and because I’ve never been to college. I am new to the startup world, and with a background in live comedy, I’ve always been more focused on people’s real-world interactions than their online ones. That’s the approach I’m taking with Potluck, in fact. Anyway, I told myself and my loved ones that regardless of what does or doesn’t happen with my business, I am going to finish getting my degree, because at the end of the day, I’m doing it for me. I will be unbelievably proud to accept that diploma, and it saddens me to see so many of my student-entrepreneur peers basically waiting impatiently until they can drop out.

  48. ObjectMethodology.com

    “Finishing” is what I’d like to eliminate from the world of education. We’re in a world of lifelong education. Receiving acknowledgement of an accomplishment, like a piece of paper that says you completed a certain set of coursework is great. But education in a classroom, on the internet, or personal discovery should contiue for a life.

  49. Ben LeBlanc

    Congrats, Fred. And I totally agree about finishing what you start.

  50. Shurtleff

    Fred it would be great if you took on the meme “school is stupid, start a company”, poster provided by Peter Theil’s 20 under 20 program. This meme is a huge disservice to students who don’t have the perspective to understand that very very few of them are going to succeed or even learn that much for that matter pursuing their dreams as opposed to completing their education. Most schools don’t support re-entering and finishing (something that should also be encouraged for all sorts of reasons), thus stepping out is not choosing a path where you can converge again later. Stepping out is making a HUGE bet, one in which i know a number of middle age folks who wish they had never taken.

  51. Friv4

    finish means new start, finish well, start well, i hope that

  52. Kevin Curtin

    As one of Jessica’s classmates, I consider it an honor to have had you at Wes for our ceremony. It is an incredible place and a wonderful school; we as graduates are so lucky.

    1. fredwilson

      thanks for stopping by and commenting on this Kevin. congratulations to you as well. its a big achievement and you should be proud of it

      1. Kevin Curtin

        i couldn’t have done it without my friends and family, and believe me when i say it means the world to us to see the look in our parents’ faces as we walked back to our seats with diplomas. i was actually sitting three or so seats in to your left – i tried to look out for you afterward to come say hello. happy you noticed this instead! thanks Fred from a new New Yorker and Wes grad!

        1. fredwilson

          Then you saw my pride too

  53. Sean Hull

    Nick Woodman said something similar in bloomberg businessweek “Dedicating myself to actually following through was my single biggest achievement.”http://www.businessweek.com…

  54. friv

    I also like to go fishing in the rain. it helps me relax and enjoy

  55. Friv

    i hope that finish means new start.

  56. awaldstein

    Just Do It is the greatest tagline of all time.

  57. falicon

    Yep – liked it.Actually read it before this one (I got the email alert about your post, read it, then jumped over here to read what you referenced — that’s the serendipity of gawk.it in action right there!) 😉