Advice from Google CFO Patrick Pichette

We recently hosted Google CFO Patrick Pichette. In his talk, he argued that we often shoot too low – looking for 10-15% improvement when we should be shooting for 10X. At Google, he focuses on game changing breakthroughs that could achieve a billion users. That thinking changes the discussion from merely worrying about the competition to focusing on breakthrough opportunities. He also had some related advice for MBA students. First, he urged the students to experiment early in their career when the risks are low and the potential upside is enormous. He also noted that they should quit focusing on their fears – the insecurities that prevent people from contributing. Rather they should relax and jump into the game and “magic things will happen.” Finally, he reminded us that everyone can benefit from a mentor, but that it takes effort to find a mentor, keep a mentor, and trust a mentor. You can hear his talk here.

Related fun – Patrick demoed Google Glass. Below is a picture he took of Paul Danos and me with his fun toy.

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