Be interesting for what you do, not “who” you are

My official mission statement is to “help interesting people do interesting things.”  The logical corollary of that statement is that you’re interesting for what you do, not “who” you are.

On some level, I think we all know this fact.  Think of your childhood heroes–they are generally people who have achieved great things–astronauts and Olympic athletes, for example.  They have done interesting things, which makes them interesting people.

When people are considered “interesting” without having done interesting things, we see this as a violation of the natural order of things.  There’s a reason why “reality” television performers are held in such contempt; besides the fact that they represent the downfall of our civilization, we simply can’t abide the fact that such unaccomplished people are being rewarded with fame and fortune.

Now let’s apply this principle to the startup world.  Marc Andreesen is an interesting person.  He created Netscape and is now a wildly successful investor.  On the other hand, the startup world is full of “interesting” “personalities” who lack the same kinds of achievements. (I’d consider myself in that category, except that not that many people find me interesting!)

Which would you rather be?

Being interesting is properly a result of doing interesting things.  So if you want people to find you interesting, get started on doing!

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