60? What’s Next?

Note from Cedric: This past Monday, we celebrated Mitch’s 60th birthday in his typical modest style – a small in-office champagne or sparkling cider toast and a choice of vegan cakes. He shared a few comments with our internal community that I thought would be wonderful to share publicly.

60 feels pretty significant to me because it’s a reminder that I can’t go on at full tilt forever. So it’s an occasion for choosing carefully about what I engage with and how. I hope in this decade to be able to pass on to others some of what I’ve learned and to achieve more balance in life. 60 doesn’t feel as old as I thought it would when I was much younger. When I was 16, 60 seemed ancient, as I imagine it does to most teenagers and most people at the Kapor Center.

It’s clear I rely a lot more on the pattern recognition that comes from experience than on sheer mental power to approach problems. That’s neither good nor bad, just different. Pattern recognition helps us avoid repeating mistakes; deep pattern recognition is actually a complementary set of strengths to bring to working with young entrepreneurs. There’s little that goes on in a startup that I haven’t seen or experienced. But pattern recognition also correlates with certain types of bias that favor the familiar. Staying open to the possibility of new forms is important and that’s my goal over the next years.

Photo from Gawker.

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