Lug Nuts or Steering Wheels?

This poem by Bing Gordon was presented at the KPCB Fellows Welcome Reception, 6/26/13

Hello KP Design and Tech Fellows of 2013! You may be, today, the mere pistons and lug nuts of the internet machine; But one day soon, you will risk all, team up with friends like those around you today, And get behind the proud steering wheel of your own Series A.

Fellows and fellettes, your talent is breathtaking. It’s swell! But Silicon Valley is like graduating to the NFL. At your university or college, you were pretty bad ass, But this is the big time, and you are the rookie class.

You amazed your parents and profs with your work ethic and smarts At George Washington, Conn College, CMU, the Academy of Art. You have design portfolios to die for; you know matrices and big data; Your gooeys are beauty, and your code is tight even at beta.

Stanford, Harvard, Johns Hopkins or Yale, Have great reps, but no one in the Valley is too big to fail. MIT, RIT, RISD, UVA, IIT, all those schools with initials Won’t guarantee mobile first, or that your swipes aren’t superficial.

UCSC, Pomona, USC, Cal. What a bummer That you sacrificed all year coding in the eternal summer. Your friends from New Jersey, Penn, Princeton, Conn College, Chicago, Actually find San Francisco summers warm, after 6 months of snow.

You are destined to change the world, with your digital cohort, To invent and build the stuff for future Mary Meeker Internet Reports. Aim high, dive deep, network well and wide; Let KP be the launch pad for your rocketship rides.

You’re joining disruptive companies, building stuff cool and new, Led by founders who once were also lug nuts like you. Morin, Dorsey, McCue, Bansal, Fadell these great founding CEO’s Have wisdom and learnings and secrets you should get to know.

Learn their golden processes, their templates, how they run meetings and all hands, Question authority and any directives you don’t understand. Smile often, test your mental models, solve hard problems, take good notes; Business is not a democracy, you must earn your votes.

Ask good questions! Recruit a mentor! Over-achieve! And take time to explore the Bay Area before you finally must leave. Be busy as bees, and as productive as Santa’s elves; Plant your personal flag in the Valley! Build cred for yourselves! And, most important of all, make us forget the excellent 2012’s!

Bing Gordon, KPCB Partner