Some Facts About Me You Probably Didn't Know...

by M. David Peterson

In 1998 I gave up an extremely lucrative contract with MSFT to go and work -- for free -- as an intern for the Seattle Supersonics. My dream "job".

That choice was a mistake. At least from a personal level.

But I learned some lessons from that gig I couldn't have learned anywhere else....

Passion.

That's what I learned. Above everything else, that's what I learned about life.

Passion is what matters. It's what makes the difference between a forgotten has-been...

... and an NBA champion.

4 Comments

Ric
2008-04-29 05:44:11
Mark,
A LOT of people told me I made a mistake creating Free.TV - yet look at YouTube now. And when I started OpenDomain, I got sued by one of the guys I GAVE a domain to. But now it is one of the largest domains on the net.
Someone told me once that you only learn from your mistakes; thus I am one of the smartest guys I know :)
Besides, if you took the MS job, would we be chatting now? I appreciate all your contributions and projects and I know other people out there do too.
GreatWhiteDork
2008-04-29 12:55:24
That's a huge lesson, and an important one. Passion, as you point out, is truly what matters. There's a good reason that self-actualization is higher on Maslow's than simple security.


Besides, with your insane skills, you can likely pick up a number of good jobs. ( Unless all that complex stuff that you talk about that makes my eyes water and my head hurt are truly just gibberish that I don't even know enough to tell the difference... ;P )

M. David Peterson
2008-04-29 20:46:47
@Ric,


>> Besides, if you took the MS job, would we be chatting now?


Oh, I had the MSFT job, left, and then went back again afterwards. The reason I say it was a mistake was due to the fact that being a part of that world caused me to make personal decisions I probably wouldn't have made if I hadn't been a part of that world. I don't say that with regret, really. I don't regret the lessons I learned and the overall experience. I just wish I made different choices than I did, that's all.


>> I appreciate all your contributions and projects and I know other people out there do too.


Thanks! :D

M. David Peterson
2008-04-29 20:54:13
@GreatWhiteDork,


>> That's a huge lesson, and an important one. Passion, as you point out, is truly what matters. There's a good reason that self-actualization is higher on Maslow's than simple security.


I absolutely 100% agree!


>> Besides, with your insane skills, you can likely pick up a number of good jobs.


Oh, as per my comment to Ric, this had nothing to do with being unable to get back into the industry. Finding development work has never been a problem. If anything, the problem has been coming across too many interesting things I'd like work on, but having to choose one or the other.


Ultimately, the reason why I call that choice a mistake is strictly from a "you know, being a part of that world really didn't make me a better overall person." although the lessons I learned from it, I believe, have. So it's tough to state that I wish I hadn't made that choice, just that the choices made as a result were not necessarily the right ones to make.


>> ( Unless all that complex stuff that you talk about that makes my eyes water and my head hurt are truly just gibberish that I don't even know enough to tell the difference... ;P )


If it makes you feel any better, it makes my eyes hurt too. ;-) I'm just a sucker for tackling complex coding problems, so tend to look at things from a "the end result is worth it, so I'll deal with the pain" perspective.