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"My life has been a series of well-orchestrated accidents" — do you need a break from career management?

March 10th, 2009 · No Comments

New York Times has an interesting profile of Evan Williams, C.E.O. of Twitter Inc.

My favorite quotes from the article:

"My life has been a series of well-orchestrated accidents; I’ve always suffered from hallucinogenic optimism. I was broke for more than 10 years. I remember staying up all night one night at my first company and looking in couch cushions the next morning for some change to buy coffee."

Evan sold his last company, Blogger, to Google in 2003. Blogger was started as a side project while Evan was running Pyra Labs to develop project management software. Twitter was started as a side project while he was running Odeo, a podcasting company.

Both Blogger and Twitter were "accidents" — unplanned, side projects that became big successes.

I think there is a very valuable lesson here — I talk to a lot of very ambitious and hard-working professionals. One common trait these folks share is the discipline and drive to strategically manage careers. But, I think sometime there are things one simply cannot control. You need to believe that things will work out if you try your best at your current job. Unexpected opportunities will come up, but it’s up to you to recognize the "accident" and seize the opportunity.

Additionally, as I wrote in Fooled by Randomness, Start-up and Serial Entrepreneur, randomness plays a very important in our life and career — working on side projects is a great way to expand your horizon while exposing you to randomness. If you have been thinking about doing something on the side, start now! Who knows, you might be on your way to create a great start-up like Twitter.

If you like this post, I also recommend you to read the following books

Tags: Career Fast Track · Learning and Growing

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