My high school, the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, showed me that anything is possible and that you're never too young to think big. At 15, I worked as a computer programmer at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, or Fermilab. After graduating, I attended Stanford for a degree in economics and computer science.
Strong emotional connections between individuals, customers, and salespeople that trust each other will always be 10 times more powerful than the most expensive ad campaign. That's the power social media makes possible.
Technology may be traditionally perceived as a male-dominated industry, but it won't always be that way. Every day we see more and more powerful women leaders boasting outstanding achievements.
Social networks particularly will tend to converge and consolidate over time, especially because they're inherently governed by network effects. So the bigger ones will just get bigger, their value will multiply exponentially, and the smaller ones will become less and less relevant.
Like many of my fellow entrepreneurs, I didn't create Hearsay Social with my co-founder Steve Garrity because it would be fun and easy, but because we're at our best when faced with enormous challenges.
Technologies and specific vendors may come and go, but massive cultural transformations and new kinds of relationships? Those don't go away.
When startups succeed, they do so against all odds. In the beginning, you have nothing except for your own talents and resources. By definition, everyone else is bigger, further along, and more established than you. To win, you have to swim upstream early on - and that requires hard work and long hours. There are no shortcuts.