The old saying (can’t think of the author – sounds like Oscar Wilde, though) was: there are two tragedies in life. One is not getting what you want. The other is getting it. Or that old stand-by: Careful what you wish for (you might get it).
David Brooks, columnist for the NYT, recently wrote an intriguing column entitled: The Creative Monopoly. He leads with a story about Peter Thiel, a bright grad of Stanford and Stanford law, who didn’t get what he wanted: a Supreme Court clerkship. But instead of becoming, say, an ambulance chaser who moans nightly to bartenders about thwarted dreams, he harnessed that ambition and tried something else. He founded a little company called – you might have heard of it – Paypal. In his spare time he was an early investor in another little company you might have heard of: Facebook. And on and on. Currently in his spare time he teaches CS183: Startup – a class in the computer science department at Stanford (Blake Masters has posted an essay version of his class notes – read them here – they’re excellent). No surprise there.