A Simple Realization of Purpose

Almost a month ago at TechStars NYC Joe Lonsdale from Palantir spoke to us about their company, what inspires them, and their insights on continued innovation.  I loved their focus on big challenges - like human trafficking - and got me thinking about what I’m truly passionate about.

Almost ten years ago I turned down a potentially lucrative investment banking career after graduating from the University to Chicago to join the Army. It’s taken me a while to truly understand my own motives for that decision, but after much introspection and a late-night conversation with the great Andrew Cornett, I’ve realized that I gravitate towards challenges and ideas that are bigger than myself. In 2003, that was the war, and now in 2013 that’s towards helping entrepreneurs build great companies.

I’ve also realized that I enjoy the operational tempo of TechStars and Seth Godin’s summer internships after my experience this cycle.  More specifically, it’s the three month intensity of getting things done; I believe it incentivizes hypothesis-testing, action, and iteration, rather than just prothesiszing.  There’s something to be said about these time constraints from an early-stage perspective, no matter what you think about whether you think it’s truly enough time to build a legitimate business.

So now I’ve got two ingredients (vision and operations), but yet still fishing for a unifying model.  Would it take the form of a studio, or an accelerator?  What’s the business model?  All these are outstanding questions, but I’ve got time to figure it out.