Tech and the Family06 Nov 2010
There is a long history in the technology world of entrepreneurs and business men with strong family ties doing great things in this business. As I’m getting ready to be a father for the first time this month with our new son, I can’t help but think of how important family is in the decisions I make and the direction I take. Whether it’s Michael Dell, Steve Jobs, the Waz (for those who know who he is) or Jeff Bezos from Amazon who started their companies from their house garage or new examples like Mark Zuckerberg from Facebook who had to borrow money from his parents in order to keep his servers running, there is a long history of achievements in technology that simply could not have happened without a strong family support.
These men and in many cases women could not have started their companies or firms, could not have taken the time they needed to focus on making these wonderful tools we have today long before they had investors or employees without both the financial and emotional support of their spouses, parents and even kids.
I’m blessed to have a great family that is behind me while I go to school and try to work around the clock. I think my biggest motivation has been my wife and my son whom I know both depend on me making good choices both about how I spend my time as well as the kind of risks I’m willing to or not going to take in this business. I am small potatoes in this industry but I can’t help but look at the example of firms and businesses that have come before me and admire just how large the role family played in their eventual success. Larry and Sergey when they created Google had been pushed by their parents since kids to work on computers and to have a love for them thus had the skill sets and knowledge at such a young age to do some powerful things.
Those of us under 30 see our idealism as a strength and don’t necessarily equate it to a weakness though others that are older may either support us for our ideas or reject them depending on their life experiences. I’ve noticed when I talk about the things that I’m working on or hope to eventually get involved with, the guys that usually get excited are the ones that did it themselves while those who played it safe or whom had difficulties throughout tended to question everything but I see both as a positive influence for all of us to learn from
In the end I think that family helps those of us in the industry to accept responsability and have better focus on what we create. We know that our time to work on projects is limited and that if we want our family to be happy we will try to be as efficient as possible in how we spend our time so that they don’t suffer for our tech passion. I don’t think I would be as dedicated or focused to my ideas now as I would be if I weren’t married. I like how Gary Vaynerchuk said it, “Family is the first rule in business and without them you can’t do anything right…”, I paraphrased ofcourse but you get the idea. As a kid my dad got me involved in technology and I fell in love with it right away, I just hope I can pass that on to my son or daughter and that they love this science as much as I do.