Ben Casnocha, the author of The Alliance and The Start up of you among many other books has worked with Reid Hoffman, co-founder of Linkedin and a partner at Greylock partners, on multiple work streams leading to his effusive praise for Reid in the recent past. Even the above two books were authored in partnership with Reid. In one of the testimonial posts for Reid, Ben talks about the choices that Reid faces, everyday. This post is a summary of a small portion of the extended article capturing Ben’s learning from Reid after having spent 10,000 hours with him as the “chief of staff” for various projects, both at Linked in and Greylock Partners
Reid is faced with daily choices which can largely be bucketed under 2 heads-1. Saving the world and 2. Savouring the world. Let me give you examples of his choices and which bucket, each choice would fall under, to drive home the point.
Savour: Reid likes to savour, albeit not hedonistically. Savour for him means arriving at intellectual epiphanies; it means spending time with friends.
Save: But what he really wants to do is save. He wants to use his talent and network and money to change the world for the better and solve some of humanity’s biggest problems. He is among the most selfless and externally-generous people Ben has met in his life.
Reid’s rationale behind saving:
Reid has so much knowledge that he is scared of dying without sharing it with the world. The purpose behind his multiple conferences is his good intention to reach out to the world and share what he knows so the world can be inspired to work harder and create things to make it a better place to live in.
Every decision has trade-offs. If you choose to do one thing, you are choosing not to do another. Reid faces trade-offs in his life that are heavier than the ones you or I face.Imagine you could meet anyone, from the President of the United States on down. Do almost anything you can think of – from saving the local opera company from bankruptcy to traveling to the farthest outposts on earth in total luxury. Reid would, at almost all times, choose “saving the company from bankruptcy” over the “luxurious travel.”
So what’s in it for us?
At 22, I can, in no way help a company from bankruptcy but I can work to acquire skills enough to get to that end of the road, in due time. Let us all strive to reach a position where we actually have the privilege to choose between saving and savouring. As Ben says-May we all take the time to savor this amazing world. And may we all have the wisdom to try to save it a little, too. Let’s not only consume. Let’s also contribute.