Respectability takes many forms. When you grow up a certain way, it's expected that you'll travel a certain path: serve on boards, go to cocktail parties, attend important conferences, maybe even give a TED talk if you really have made it (after all, what could possibly be more important?) I grew up on that path, but deviated from it, first because of circumstances, then by choice.
That experience ultimately united my passion for technology with a passion for people. And for more than two decades, I've enjoyed a career that's embodied both of these passions. I'm happy with how everything turned out, but it sure would have been nice to bring those passions together a lot sooner! If I could talk with my younger self, I'd share these seven lessons I've learned