Monday, April 23, 2007

The Best and the Brightest

David Halberstam died yesterday. I am currently reading his outstanding book, 'The Best and the Brightest' which is a extraordinary series of portraits of the men who made up the Kennedy administration, and who led us in to Vietnam. I discovered from the New York Times that he lived in the Bay Area and died in an auto accident in Menlo Park.

He wrote of people who were so close to greatness, but created tragedy. I'm fascinated at how this small tragedy has revealed to me how close to this great author I was, and never even realized it.

His book has one core message, which applies to startups as much as politics: Don't waste your opportunity to make a difference by being arrogant, narrow-minded, or dogmatic about reality. Adjust and thrive. Deny and die. Even the best and the brightest can blow it.

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