The Constant Internal Battle…Love or Success?

This is me right now. A daily internal conflict. Inside there are forces “constantly at war with one another…external success and internal value”. I know that the most important things are friendship, family, forgiveness, warmth, solidarity, selflessness, love. I recall a time when these qualities primarily occupied my mind and how, as a result, they radiated from me. But my days now are filled with thoughts of the future. My current job, next job, dream jobs. Startup ideas, behavioral economics, law school. Power, politics, progress. The war wages. Can they both win? I cross my fingers, hoping they couldn’t possibly both lose. I sleep, and awake to fight the same battles, a predictable result never slowing the march. I’ve never been one to focus on happiness, but Einstein had a point: “A happy man is too satisfied with the present to dwell too much on the future.”

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An open Cover Letter for Google

I sent in an application to Google Sustainability tonight! And believe it or not, 2.5 years after finishing college, it’s my first real job application! I can’t wait to hear back from them. This was a fun letter to write, whatever they decide:

Dear Googler,

Let me present my first ever formal job application. At age 25, I have hired and fired, managed employees, secured investments, spoken at conferences, made mistakes, enjoyed successes, changed lives, befriended a Mayor, and helped run a summer camp, but I haven’t applied for a job.

I sent in an application to Google Sustainability tonight! And believe it or not, 2.5 years after finishing college, it’s my first real job application! I can’t wait to hear back from them. This was a fun letter to write, whatever they decide:

Screen Shot 2013-08-03 at 11.13.34 PM

Dear Googler,

Let me present my first ever formal job application. At age 25, I have hired and fired, managed employees, secured investments, spoken at conferences, made mistakes, enjoyed successes, changed lives, worked in local government, and helped run a summer camp, but I haven’t applied for a job. When I graduated from college, a $30k fellowship initially delayed the need for a job search. When this fellowship led to the founding of an LLC and two years of startup craziness, that pivotal career moment was postponed further.

Now I come to this point: my career has passed from nascent to fledgling, I’m looking for an awesome job, and I must communicate on paper how an upbringing, an education, world travels, and three years of entrepreneurship have given me a wealth of experience worthy of my generation’s sexiest employer: the one and only Google.

My case for myself? I am a perpetual student with an advanced degree from the school of TED and Audible. I am a thoughtful explorer who asks great questions, constantly seeks understanding, and loves problem-solving.

I hope I’ve inspired in you enough questions to warrant a trip to Mountain View. I’d love to tell you more about Tufts, the Beelzebubs, biodigesters in the West Bank, Rising Green LLC, Holyoke, Camp Owatonna, and a few adventure stories from India and the Middle East. Or we could talk about energy efficiency, food security, clean tech, aquaponics, carbon accounting, resource conservation, gardening, waste management, corporate social responsibility, workforce development, holistic sustainability, and environmental economics.

If you want someone in the Google Sustainability office who has started two businesses, sang in a world-class a cappella group, loves kids, and can dunk a basketball, let’s talk. You’d also get to know a man who’s ready to help Google take the lead on sustainability and communicate its vision to the world.

Warmly,

Adrian Dahlin

Lessons from “The Lean Startup”

For Christmas my sister gave me Eric RiesThe Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneur’s Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses. It was a timely gift, because I started a business in September 2011 and began to learn about Lean Startup theory during the fall at networking events in Boston. This week I dove into the book, and lo and behold, it is a gold mine. Ries’ first 30 pages – rife with succinct advice and relevant case studies – have already provided new inspiration and validated aspects of my business strategy. The rest of this blog will chronicle lessons I learn from The Lean Startup as I venture through its pages. Follow me on Twitter @RedTuftedGiant to get updates about each new lesson learned, and check back in on this blog often.

Lesson #1: A strong brand image just needs to be recognizable, not necessarily relevant. I recognized the Lean Startup the second I removed the paper my sister had wrapped around it. I had never seen the book in person before, but I had seen it online once or twice. Its cover conveys nothing related to business, entrepreneurship or innovation. It has simply a blue jacket with the title, author’s name and a large, white, circular paintbrush stroke. That’s all it takes. As soon as you’ve seen this book cover once, you’ll recognize it forever.