Don Hoang

100 Days At A Startup

You cannot discover new oceans unless you have the courage to lose sight of shore.

- Admiral Rickover

As I was gearing up to graduate from business school, one of my professors, Joel Peterson, challenged us to think differently by flashing the quote above in one of our last lectures.

Embracing this concept, I turned down an offer to go back to my previous employer and spent the next 4 months after school, unemployed, on an unfamiliar ocean.  I spent the summer months analyzing my skills, my passions, and what I wanted out of my career.  All winds pushed me towards joining a startup that I was passionate about – somewhere I could make an impact.  So like a cougar chasing down fresh meat at the Rosewood on Thursday night, I was all over it.

I was able to lose sight of the shore and along the way, I’ve learned invaluable lessons at a startup.  This is what I learned in my first 100 days:

1.  Embrace Ambiguity

I love this quote from Sheryl Sandberg:

“I always tell people if you try to connect the dots of your career, if you mess it up you’re going to wind up on a very limited path. If I decided what I was going to do in college—when there was no Internet, no Google, no Facebook . . . I don’t want to make that mistake. The reason I don’t have a plan is because if I have a plan I’m limited to today’s options.”

Inevitably, the landscape, the players, and the movers, of startups change.  10 years ago, the entire market cap of the social media sector was less than $100m.  Today, Facebook is valued at 100x that.  Working at a startup, not only do you have to embrace ambiguity, you have to count on it.  Building out the right team, the right skills to take advantage of these waves will be instrumental to not only your company but also your career.

Being at a startup means that you have to solve ambiguous problems – if someone has already figured this out, your startup wouldn’t exist.  The nature of a startup means that you never have perfect answer but you have the right framework to make the best decisions possible.  Ambiguity is the name of the game and you gotta be able to roll with it.

2.  Build a Network – It’s Important

Startups are built on servers, engineering code, lofty ideas, VC money, etc. but the end of the day it’s a people business.  Understanding the pain points of people and understanding how to work with people – that’s it.  From investing in startups or building a team at a startup, it’s all about people.

Building your own network is important.  Startups move quickly and you’ll never know where you may need help.  It may be the engineer that you randomly met at a dinner or the community manager you met partying with at SXSW – having contacts and building your ecosystem can help you navigate through the valley.

How many times have you done the “LinkedIn lookup”, e.g. after meeting someone you immediately look them up on LinkedIn.  My friends use this to prescreen meetings, source opportunities, and even diligence for dates.

Each community has their own closed networks and it takes time, hustle, and serendipity to break into these networks.  The sooner you realize this and start building up your own the better off you will be.  Roles at firms may be short but careers are long – make sure you build your network and maintain a great reputation.

3.  Be a Direct Communicator

Your word is your bond, especially in tech.  Often times, things move so fast in deals you don’t have time to do paperwork and have to rely on “bro NDA”.  Being upfront, direct and open with partners, colleagues, and investors is always the best policy.  Building this social currency will make your life a lot easier as time goes on.  Time is money in startups and no one likes to be BS’ed around.

Being a direct communicator is a skill learned over time.  To be able to understand other’s intentions, take complex issues and articulate them in a simple manner, and being direct with confidence when needed is important in an ambiguous world.  Even internally, trust is gained by being able to communicate and articulate issues to coworkers.  Startups are so small that you know everyone’s business at work – beat this to the punch by being open with that your thoughts are.

4.  Be Part of The Culture

Life it too short to do something you don’t like.  When I was unemployed, I kept on referring back to Steve Job’s philosophy:

“If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”

If you weigh the likelihood of startup success against the average compensation (cash + equity for an employee) you’ll see that most employees won’t be partying on a boat with Diddy anytime soon.  Founders, hired guns, and super early employees are ones who are more likely to have that opportunity to make it big.  The goal is to get yourself to be in one of those positions.

In the interim, and hopefully later on in your career, you gotta love what you do.  The culture of the startup you work for will heavily dictate this.  I remember studying about culture in business school and thought it was just a bunch of BS.  But in real practice, this is what keeps the drum beating.  People bust their ass because they love their job.  The goal is to align this culture with the startups goals – if you do, you’ve really hit the jackpot.

The one other thing is that you have to be part of that culture.  You have to live and breathe it (OK, drink the Kool-Aid), otherwise that extra hour you spend in the office, you’re going to be regretting it.  If you don’t like something – try to change it.  If you can’t change it – leave because you’re wasting your youthful energy.

5.  Look For Quick Wins

Coming into a startup, you have to prove yourself.  You have to demonstrate to the team, the founders, and the investors why they gave up a percentage of the company for you to join.  This is always not easy to do – especially if you come from a “non-tech” background.

You have to really assess your skills and use your past experience to look for quick wins for yourself and the company.

For me, I spent nearly 8 years in finance (i-banking and PE) and coming to a startup, it wasn’t clear to me what my quick win was.  As the company grew bigger, we started to analyze a lot of things that fell into my wheelhouse (business model changes, M&A, financial analysis, strategy, etc.).  I used my previous skill sets to help where I could.  I was able to help with analyzing, doing the due diligence, modeling out, and structuring the strategy around our first acquisition.

Finding wins that you can really help deliver put wind behind your sails.


I’m sure there are hundred’s of other lessons to be learned but these were the ones that have helped me thus far.

I think finding out your passion and following it religiously is the only way to be happy as it serves as your compass out on an unfamiliar ocean.

[UPDATE]  Thanks for all the comments and support!  This post was just picked up by VentureBeat!  Thanks for all your encouragement!

About these ads

129 comments on “100 Days At A Startup

  1. imabusinessman
    April 4, 2012

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. You journey is very inspirational. I’ll try to keep these in mind as I head down my own path.

  2. Jon
    April 5, 2012

    Reblogged this on BAMCIS Business Development.

  3. Sofie Marklund
    April 5, 2012


  4. sahilpatwa
    April 5, 2012

    Really Loved the Post – talks about the lesser-discussed “join a new venture” topic!

  5. Chito L. Aguilar
    April 5, 2012

    Thanks for the inspiring post
    and congratulations on the FP.

    I should let my son read this.

  6. forum auto
    April 5, 2012

    Great, I’m student in commercial navigation sailing, thanks for advice.

  7. princessraji
    April 5, 2012

    super inspiring, love the lesson!!

  8. paytvberater
    April 5, 2012

    i wil think about it the next three weeks in thailand;-)

  9. Maurice
    April 5, 2012

    This is Truth. Thanks for sharing, maybe more people would embrace their entrepreneurial spirit. This is inline with the NY Times article circulating the web. It’s title is ” Will Drop outs Save America?” I say a Big Fat Yes to that question.

  10. kiates
    April 5, 2012

    nice post

  11. gnovember
    April 5, 2012

    I love the first quote above – motivated me to begin to re-evaluate my life and current career decisions!

  12. Rustic Recluse
    April 5, 2012

    Just what I needed as I begin to rethink my options & decisions.

  13. gogofishgreen
    April 5, 2012

    Big business will make way for start-ups, as exponential growth has its limit in doubling time. Going for your passion, does not need to satisfy shareholder-value and this is key to success. Your well-composed summary also applies to private life. Thank you and all the best for your sustained energy.

  14. 台北日租套房
    April 5, 2012

    Nice pics :D

  15. flats in bangalore
    April 5, 2012

    excellent……………..You journey is very inspirational. I’ll try to keep these in mind as I head down my own path.

  16. Jennifer Worrell
    April 5, 2012

    Much luck on your voyage across the “ocean!” Inspiring quotes, and congrats on FP. I agree that following your passion is key to success in business, but it takes immense courage. Well done!

  17. indiantiger123
    April 5, 2012

    Great quotes .. especially liked the one from the admiral ! all the best for ur venture :)

  18. home, garden, life
    April 5, 2012

    Good quotes from some greats. Always inspirational! Keep on keeping on!

  19. baoyakey
    April 5, 2012

    nice post, I will think it.

  20. Lotto Results
    April 5, 2012

    Very inspirational. Thanks for sharing.

  21. .
    April 5, 2012

    The quote, “Man, cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore,” is something I live by as often as I can and have used as my email footer for over 2 years now. It is not always easy, but life, in general, and the things worth obtaining from life rarely are easy to come by. I like that you reference the need for direct communication in business, which is lost on so many. The Steve Job’s quote also struck a chord with me because I’ve been saying “No, I don’t like my current job,” for a while now. I’ve filled my life with other things I enjoy outside of work. It’s a tough call because I am finishing a PhD. So, some don’t even call this a job, even though I’m getting paid to do research everyday. It’s more of a “means-to-an-end”. I’m just not sure I’ll enjoy the end, or “new beginning”. Ultimately, it comes down to whether you live to work or work to live. I’m probably the latter, but I’ve never had a job I could really live for…yet.

    Aside: I wanted to point out that I believe the French writer and 1947 Nobel Prize for Literature recipient, Andre Gide, is the above quote.

  22. Pingback: links from around the web | Scintillating Simplicity

  23. techierants
    April 5, 2012

    I just loved your quote!! :) the post as well..

  24. Pingback: - Scrambled Mind - Scrambled Mind

  25. Mikalee Byerman
    April 5, 2012

    LOVE the message here … as a newly full-time freelance writer, I’ve found myself on uncharted waters for the last six months — and I can tell you, it’s a scary place!

    But you’re SO right about the importance of a network and of believing in your passion. These are the most important aspects of my “pioneer spirit” in this new journey…

    Congrats to you — and best of luck as you continue your exploration!

    • dghoang
      April 5, 2012

      Thanks, Mikalee. Good luck with everything. Congrats on taking the plunge! It’s definitely scary but worth it in the end. Life’s too short to do something you don’t like!

  26. Zenwalker
    April 5, 2012
  27. Zenwalker
    April 5, 2012

    Very true. Dealing with folks in an organization is really tough.

  28. Luke
    April 5, 2012

    Good stuff man. I’m trying to decide whether or not business school is the right path for me or should I go straight into the vast unknown that is being a startup guy!

  29. imperffect374
    April 5, 2012

    Reblogged this on imperfectyou and commented:

  30. themanwhodoesntwork
    April 5, 2012

    great write! I’m currently writing my ebook, it was hard going on it alone till I found a great marketing guy who shared the same passion. We’re now working on it and having tons of fun!

  31. ashazenzi
    April 5, 2012

    this is the kinda post worth saving and referring back to. i’m at a precipice in my career. looking for new oceans… thank you :)

  32. Carlie Chew
    April 5, 2012

    I love the quote you started you post off with, very inspirational. Thanks for sharing all that you’ve learned, great post!

  33. bercton
    April 5, 2012

    We need to be reminded of these things ever so often. Very inspirational! Thanks for sharing!

    • dghoang
      April 5, 2012

      Thank you! Very humbled by your words. Had no idea anyone was reading this! :-)

  34. integrityisyou
    April 5, 2012

    Inspirational and thought provoking!

  35. Katie Raspberry
    April 5, 2012

    Great post! It’s rare we see business posts in the freshly pressed section.
    Start-ups are extremely confusing in the beginning due to many roles that
    were never intended to be on one person’s shoulders as well as deadlines,
    finance and over-time work at times. It’s very hard but never boring which is why
    I love it. I completely agree with everything in this post and will stick to it like I already
    have. Absolutely love the quote from Sheryl Sandberg.

    Looking forward to your next post,

    A business blog:

  36. richgranatelli
    April 5, 2012

    Thanks for sharing. I have worked with several start ups and man, it’s not always easy. You hit the nail right on the head with the tips you gave. Love the quoted text as well.
    All the best,

  37. Marshall
    April 5, 2012

    I’m trying to pick out one piece that I agree with more than any other, but they’re all so true, and I’m not sure you can succeed at a startup without all 5 of these points. Great call-outs, all!

  38. miracledonnie
    April 5, 2012

    This is such a great blog. I’m Don also and was looking at blogs to see if I could get some inspiration. Got plenty here. Good writing, casual, fun and excellent pics.

  39. Samriddhi
    April 5, 2012

    I so wish I’d read something like this when I graduated from uni and was just starting out as an entrepreneur.

    The quick wins and networking part rings specially true for me. It’s tremendously hard to get anywhere in the Startup world without good networking.

    The very best of luck to you in your journey – it seems to me that you have all the right ingredients for success. May you be an inspiration for those who come after you. :)

    • dghoang
      April 6, 2012

      Thanks, Samriddhi! Good luck with your journey as well. Thanks for your comments!

  40. seasonsofmylife
    April 5, 2012

    Hello there!!!

    I am leaving well established middle sized IT firm to join a start up with few headcounts- the people I am joining are full of energy and vision. I am doing this to be part of the big picture, to make something big and and meaningful and mainly want to do something I really love – this is the MOST important thing for me. I can not do something for long time if I don’t’ love it.

    I came across your blog at right time. Thanks for guiding and summarizing the open secrets of your success.

  41. The Hook
    April 5, 2012

    Enlightening post, my new friend! Good luck to you!

  42. Anonymous
    April 5, 2012

    Thank you for this. I started my own company a few months ago and it was expanding so quickly that I couldn’t keep up. I hired some help on the side and was finally at a steady work pace and ready for new clients, when a huge hit came. The company income plummeted. I’m now in the process of rebuilding and quite overwhelmed. Reading this has lifted my spirits. You wrote this at the perfect time for me.

  43. ridgesandripples
    April 5, 2012

    Great post! I am looking to start up my own business and this was very fun to read!

  44. encouragementtogo
    April 5, 2012

    I’m building a new brand after a a HUGE real estate debaucle in 2008 and find that I keep letting my last failure get in the way of my success. (I’ve been tippy toeing so as not to rock any boats which is a definite recipe for disaster) Thank you for sharing this important message…anything worth building isn’t necessarily going to be easy, fun or exciting every moment. It’s a ton of hard work and the rewards are often unknown. Best of luck!

  45. Magnet for Foolishness
    April 5, 2012

    Good post. I like the quotes! Will be sharing with others…

  46. Y u think dad
    April 5, 2012

    Interesting, you have some very valid points. I have to be a little more proactive…

  47. Jason Ministries
    April 5, 2012

    Good advice; thank you for posting. :)

  48. Pingback: Self discipline, rationality and balance with emotions « AM-PM

  49. ritarivera5150
    April 5, 2012

    there’s a lot of preciseness in your ambiguity :-) – rita

  50. Elizabeth
    April 5, 2012

    What an amazing adventure with wonderful lessons learned!?! I am on the same path of finally following my own passion and have discovered through my fear that there is more out there than I ever knew. I’m still traveling but I’m happy to have made the decision to change course!!
    Thanks for sharing!

    • dghoang
      April 5, 2012

      Definitely take your time and enjoy life!

  51. John Saddington
    April 5, 2012

    Reblogged this on 8BIT.

  52. justinwiguna
    April 5, 2012

    This is great! Especially since I’m working with a startup right now. Thanks for the insight.

  53. westsideluxeliving
    April 5, 2012

    Reblogged this on westsideluxeliving.

  54. socialbridge
    April 5, 2012

    Many thanks for a great post. I love your beginning and ending that draws on this quote that is going straight up on my wall!

    “You cannot discover new oceans unless you have the courage to lose sight of shore.”

    – Admiral Rickover

    I find it fascinating that Cicero in 50 BC in his book, ‘On a Life Well Spent,’ saw death as being like finding the quiet harbour after the tossings of life’s voyage. It’s clear from what you say that we have to experience ‘tossings’ but that these won’t necessarily feel uncomfortable if we are engaged in something we love as we journey through life.

    Great food for thought and wonderful inspiration.

  55. Tim Shey
    April 5, 2012

    That is a great quote by Admiral Rickover. Here are a couple more good quotes”

    “A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.”
    –William Shedd

    “Many men owe the grandeur of their lives to their tremendous difficulties.”
    –Charles H. Spurgeon

  56. Anonymous
    April 5, 2012

    A great blog and roadmap to success!

  57. nikhil
    April 5, 2012

    Really inspiring and thought provoking. Sharing it

  58. Albro
    April 5, 2012

    Well written and so true.

  59. TechBusinessNotes
    April 5, 2012

    Thank you for such a nicely written and encouraging message!!

    I am finding it a bit more challenging than I thought to do my networking after almost 12 years of being abroad, but now I can finally see things getting better. I also finally decided to define what my talents are, make them stronger, and pursue only those opportunities that can keep me excited again and where I can put to work my passion and strengths.

    Congratulations and success!!

  60. Wanderer
    April 5, 2012

    A post very well written. But then, we all know we need to follow our heart and do what is passionate to us – the calling. But how do you find it? You can probably do a post on that too. I’m kind of stuck at that point and life seems to be rolling too fast making me incredibly edgy.
    You can probably go through this post of mine to get to know my state of mind right now.


  61. lynda C-L Allen
    April 5, 2012

    Thank you for sharing your journey. You’ll learn more about business in a start-up then you will anywhere else. You’ll learn a great deal about yourself as well. I am so grateful for my experiences as I know you will be as well. Continue to learn and follow your desire – that’s where you’ll find your success.

  62. dreamz infra
    April 6, 2012

    Really inspiring thoughts.Like it

  63. roomservicedime
    April 6, 2012

    Reblogged this on What The Tuesday!.

  64. Yolanda
    April 6, 2012

    The quotes reached out to me…your words pulled me in! Thx for sharing

  65. Eleanor
    April 6, 2012

    just when i thought im lost… you light up the way. I couldn’t agree more to your truths. Cheers to that

  66. edgeledge
    April 6, 2012

    Wow, I wish I had individuals like you when I started a business some years ago, maybe it wouldn’t have stalled…all the best with it, and keep the mindset you have through the tough times.

  67. flats in koramangala
    April 6, 2012

    Really inspiring thoughts

  68. khubeira
    April 6, 2012

    Reblogged this on Talk of the town and commented:
    Well said, LOVE the starting quote

  69. ashoklaughswithlife
    April 6, 2012

    I simply loved the very first quote, “You cannot discover new oceans unless you have the courage to lose sight of shore.” Simply awesome! And, so true!

    Loved reading your Blog which made me think something, again and again!

    Thanks for putting all this here!


  70. lijiujiu
    April 6, 2012

    Excellent post.
    Must admit that you are one of the best bloggers I ever saw.Thanks for posting this informative article.

    • dghoang
      April 6, 2012

      So humbled by your comment, lijiujiu. Thanks for your encouragement!

  71. C.BERRY
    April 6, 2012

    thx for sharing !!

  72. Kevin C. Walker
    April 6, 2012

    Reblogged this on SocialNrd and commented:
    What an excellant insight into the world of a startup. Something that we all should consider when trying to make it big in the world of entrepreneurship.
    PS- Sorry for no blog posts lately… I am neglecting my blog recently to takle the Social Media Campaign for with six of the finest student interns from the University of Minnesota. Hope you all understand!
    Kevin C. Walker

  73. keshavdubey
    April 6, 2012


  74. Laura Kryshtar
    April 6, 2012

    Inspiring! Reminds me of Simon Sinek and his book Start with Why. I believe the same thing.

    • dghoang
      April 6, 2012

      Thanks for the thought and reference to the Ted talk – watching it now!

  75. Mimi
    April 6, 2012

    Oh if I only had your wisdom when just out of college! It has taken me years to learn those lessons and pick up that knowledge, but no matter how old or young, these are vital ideas and worth putting into play every single day of life. It doesn’t matter if you are a venture capitalist or a stay-at-home mom, these are words to be inspired by daily. Thank you for making the effort to reach out with yours.

  76. MON. Design Haus
    April 6, 2012

    Beautifully written. Start ups are the best!! Look forward to reading more about your journey.


  77. xuantian
    April 6, 2012

    I am rebloging it to my Chinese learning blog! Yes, follow religiously our passion will help us succeed!

    • dghoang
      April 6, 2012

      Great idea, Xuantian! Great way to make that connection to follow your passion.

  78. xuantian
    April 6, 2012

    Congrats on your decision of a startup!

  79. cesardagord
    April 6, 2012

    Nice write up. Crisis situations can happen on daily or weekly or monthly basis and in several dimensions. One thing that has helped me build on what you call a “quick win,” and perhaps carries an even broader significance than that, has been to live the “turning a crisis into an opportunity” MO. Yes, this is old, there are Chinese proverbs on this and all. But to put it into practice is another story. And living it is actually liberating for the senses, and it is something that puts you in a leadership position among your colleagues, especially the ones that have a problem seeing a glass half full. I actually like the crisis, it has helped me get out of stale jobs and reach higher places. Thanks for sharing your ideas, they are inspiring.

  80. xuantian
    April 6, 2012

    Reblogged this on The Path to Chinese Characters and commented:
    Here is a encouraging post to you Chinese learners! I found this morning.
    I do agree that if one follows religiously his passion, he will achieve success. This equally applies to Chinese learning. Stay passionate about this “so-called-difficult” language, don’t give up whenever you feel lost or depressed. Follow religiously you original goal of mastering Chinese. Stay tuned in Chinese learning environment. I don’t see one not going to master Chinese.
    Furthemore, most of the time we will be feel afraid to get rid of what we’ve achieved. But will it hurt if we try a brand new startup?
    I am able to tell you the answer right now. But I would love to hear you guys sharing your answers…

  81. project1979
    April 6, 2012

    Love this! It made me feel like we are all in this together…
    Thanks for the tips, the concrete facts and the kind quotes!

  82. Reblogged this on TechBusinessNotes and commented:
    100 Days at a startup

    I am reading this blog and I am enjoying it. Very nicely written and beautiful pictures !!

    Enjoy it !

  83. Samantha
    April 6, 2012

    Wow, this was a really well-thought out blog, I enjoyed it. I would love to work for a start-up or think of an idea for one sometime in the future. These are great tips to have on hand. Congrats on Freshly Pressed!

    • dghoang
      April 6, 2012

      Thanks, Samantha! Really means a lot. You should def take the plunge into startups! It’s a ton of fun!

  84. Herwin Lesmana
    April 6, 2012

    Reblogged this on Herwin's Blog.

  85. goldsilver4u
    April 6, 2012

    we need all the inspiration we can get some times it just gives us that little kick that we need to see where we are headed

  86. michael
    April 6, 2012

    What I like most about this is the fact that you had this awareness so early in life. It took me years to consider pursuing a different path. The traditional just isn’t cutting it anymore for most. Your learnings are quite profound and meaningful as well. Great guidance for anyone venturing out into the world today. Great job!!

  87. DIYDeveloper
    April 7, 2012

    Great Article, I am currently busy with a startup and this has been helpful to me as it has given me a better understanding on how to attract the correct individuals to my startup. I have tried to be the master of all disciplines within the startup but have come to the realization that I must now bring in specialists for the individual tasks, especially sales and PR. I think if you are not a sales person you never will be?

    Thanks for the inspiration, keep it up.

  88. Robert
    April 7, 2012

    Amazing Article – i’ve founded a company in austria, vienna and i can only agree. It’s absolutely important that employees (and founders) love their job. There’s nothing worse than to be dissatisfied with daily business – this is a waste of useful time. If you spend energy in something you have to get energy back. The principle is simple, many people spend their whole energy in something and get nothing back. That’s where depression starts.

    Congrats to the really good article – keep on publishing :)

  89. cielotech
    April 7, 2012

    I am a 70 year old mechanical engineer–trust me on this one, Don is absolutely correct. There use to be an “axiom of consistency” that said–the future will be like the past because in the past, the future was like the past. No more–no more. Impossible to connects the dots in today’s world and if you could, you would miss so much of life. There are still acceptable risks that need to be evaluated with every venture but that can be accomplished. It can be done. I really give a thumbs up to the “networking” comments AND the need for transparency with partners and co-workers. Absolutely necessary. Great post. Words of wisdom .


    • dghoang
      April 7, 2012

      Thanks for the kind words, Bob. Really inspirational to hear from you!

  90. Lim Studio
    April 7, 2012

    You know, having been trying to ‘start’ my business for the past five years, I can attest to one very true thing you said: “5. Look For Quick Wins”. This has been my number one mistake. I continue to attempt to deliver ONE AMAZING COLLECTION (note: I’m launching a jewelry collection). I mean, I went crazy with design. It has taken over a year just to design it. Looking back, I think I should have gone way easier and sold much smaller collections. By now, with some success under my belt and some vender to re-sell to, I would be in a much better credit situation. I could probably get that business loan I so desperately need. Also, I wouldn’t feel so bogged down & frustrated emotionally.

    Oh, to turn back the clock! But, being stubborn is part of the equation too. Learn & move on, right?

  91. gadberry
    April 7, 2012

    I highly respect your process. Excellent blog. You made it sound so easy, and I’m sure most people don’t understand the real courage necessary to take that step. Thanks for the inspiration.

  92. TheBohoChic
    April 7, 2012

    This is a really well written post and I love the message. Somehow all our lives, no one tells us to lose sight of the familiar and wander into unknown territory to explore the depth of our potential. I think it is important to assess what really makes you happy and try to make a career out of it. If you are successful, you will be rich, maybe famous even, if not, at least you will be happy.
    Good luck and thank you for sharing!

    • dghoang
      April 7, 2012

      Thanks for your comment TheBohoChic! You are totally right. I think if you do what you are truly passionate about you’ll have all the things you mentioned above! It will all come :-)

      Reminds me of another Steve Jobs quote that I always refer back to: “you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”

  93. TheBohoChic
    April 7, 2012

    Reblogged this on The Boho Chic.

  94. aggiewags
    April 7, 2012

    Reblogged this on jumpstarting and commented:
    I’m not an entrepreneur, but I think this applied to me as I just graduated from law school and passed the bar.

  95. killy250r
    April 7, 2012

    That first quote is like Christopher Columbus’s “You can never cross the ocean unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.”

    Very inspirational and motivational. Great job!

    Quote I follow: “Sail beyond the horizon; fly higher than you ever thought possible; magnify your existence by helping others; be kind to people and animals of all shapes and sizes; be true to what you value most; shine your light on the world; and be the person you were born to be.” Blake Beattie

  96. uncoveringdiscovery
    April 7, 2012

    I’m not starting up a business, but rather about to finish with my first degree and start another. This was inspiring for me in this situation as well:) Thank you!!!

  97. nikipattanaik
    April 7, 2012

    Reblogged this on Nikipattanaik's Blog.

  98. insightful, not only to the entrepreneurs:)

  99. Harp Kang
    April 8, 2012

    I felt like I just got my MBA prep course done!

  100. Yasir Imran
    April 8, 2012

    That is really inspiring.

  101. deborahhawkins
    April 8, 2012

    I really like your point about ambiguity. That is one of the hardest experiences for all of us to handle, yet vital to change and growth. Well said.

  102. Roger Nield
    April 8, 2012

    Reblogged this on Simple Things and commented:
    Not a bad test blog for a new site: Enjoy and thanks to dghoang!

  103. cscheuch
    April 8, 2012

    Excelent post…thanks for the inspiration…

  104. Aphrodite Photography
    April 8, 2012

    A lot of people I know could learn from reading this. I may send it out on a memo!!! lol xx

  105. Christopher C. Randolph
    April 8, 2012

    Great advice and well written. Congrats on the Venturebeat pick up. That’s awesome.

    God Bless,


  106. Ramu Nair
    April 9, 2012

    Me also going through such a phase and I could relate each and everything you have put down.
    Great article based on some shrewd observation.

  107. Pingback: Entrepreneur: Don Huang and his 100 days at a startup « Blueroselady's Weblog

  108. Pingback: 100 Days At A Startup | StartUpHire Blog

  109. stevelyco
    April 9, 2012

    Very inspirational, I don’t know much about startups but I recently took a big turn in my life. I am going to write the lessons I learned in a way you are doing here for startups. You inspired me to write them down… My story is already on my blog, in a few days I will have written the lessons part of it. Hope you will read it and can give me some advice then. Thanks for your inspirational words!

  110. mike
    April 10, 2012

    Good stuff man. I’m trying to decide whether or not business school is the right path for me or should I go straight into the vast unknown that is being a startup guy!

  111. Una voz en el silencio
    April 10, 2012

    Reblogged this on " Una Voz en el Silencio ".

  112. Rodger Tagge
    April 10, 2012

    I’m impressed, I must say. Really rarely do I encounter a blog that’s each educative and entertaining, and let me let you know, you’ve gotten hit the nail on the head. Your thought is excellent; the issue is one thing that not enough persons are talking intelligently about. I’m very happy that I stumbled throughout this in my search for something referring to this.

  113. Cleverreality
    April 10, 2012

    Cool list with some great quotes!

  114. mike
    April 11, 2012

    super inspiring, love the lesson!!

  115. icookmymeal
    April 20, 2012

    Very inspiring!! Since I am also one of the international student your words will definitely help me to pursue my career here far from home.

  116. Pingback: When The Dust Settles « Lock, Stock, and Barrel

  117. Pingback: When The Market Crashed in 2008… | Don Hoang

    September 18, 2014

    You could definitely seee your expertise within the work you write.
    The sector hopes foor even more passionate writers such as you who are not afrid too saay how they believe.

    All the time go after your heart.

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


This entry was posted on April 4, 2012 by in Job Search, Silicon Valley, Stanford, Startups, Technology and tagged , , , , .

Current Thoughts

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 201 other followers

%d bloggers like this: