Every morning in Africa, a Gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning a Lion wakes up. It knows it must outrun the slowest Gazelle or it will starve to death. It doesn't matter whether you are a Lion or a Gazelle… when the sun comes up, you'd better be running.
–Christopher McDougall, Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen
People who can't own their own sports teams play fantasy sports. People who can't invest in the stock market do virtual trading. Why should I be left out? I decided that I'm going to publish my list of investing picks (that I've kept private up til now), so that in the future I can (and you can) look back and see how I do.
To make it more realistic, I'm giving myself ~$3M/year to invest – that'll keep me honest and help make me decide how much I like each company, not just that I like them (which is important from an investor's perspective). I'm including the date picked as that's relevant to finding startups before everyone else.
Goals are to identify both super successful and undervalued companies, before they becomes “obviously successful.” I'll be attending YC Alumni Demo Day and meeting with a bunch of people in the tech community, because I do that anyway. Disclosures and notes at bottom. I can't currently afford to act on these, but if you do & make any profit, feel free to share. Some day in the future, I hope to put my money where my mouth is (want to make that happen? let's talk).
Disclosure: I currently have no financial positions in any of these companies, though many of them are founded by people I'm lucky to call my friends. If I could invest, this is where I'd put my money.
Just in case you haven't heard, Groupon founder & CEO Andrew Mason was fired earlier today.
I had the privilege of meeting and talking to Andrew last July (though trust me, we're not “buddies”), and the one thing I remember most was his resilience and indomitable spirit. Even then, he was honest: people didn't (don't?) have a high opinion of Groupon. Yet nonetheless he had such a passion for Groupon, his baby, that it was hard for it not to be infectious. I came in a skeptic wanting to make a joke about a Ponzi scheme, and left with the feeling that he had a bigger goal than just offering people like you 20% off your movie ticket. I remember talking with him about his plans to solve some of the many problems that face small businesses and merchants today, to become the “operating system” for local commerce. His eyes lit up as he talked about how Groupon would help merchants grow and build bigger, more successful businesses than ever before possible. It's yet to be seen how that all plays out, but it's funny how almost everyone who criticizes Groupon still purchases one every now and then. (No? You don't? Don't worry, I'm sure your wife or girlfriend does.)
Back to the point: getting fired sucks. I'm sure getting fired so publicly feels like shit. But it's hard not to have immense respect for his honestly in the letter he wrote to Groupon employees earlier today (reproduced below). I'm not debating how he ran Groupon – but before you rush to criticize the guy, I'll point you to The Man In The Arena.
The letter speaks for itself:
(This is for Groupon employees, but I'm posting it publicly since it will leak anyway)
People of Groupon,
After four and a half intense and wonderful years as CEO of Groupon, I've decided that I'd like to spend more time with my family. Just kidding - I was fired today. If you're wondering why… you haven't been paying attention. From controversial metrics in our S1 to our material weakness to two quarters of missing our own expectations and a stock price that's hovering around one quarter of our listing price, the events of the last year and a half speak for themselves. As CEO, I am accountable.
You are doing amazing things at Groupon, and you deserve the outside world to give you a second chance. I'm getting in the way of that. A fresh CEO earns you that chance. The board is aligned behind the strategy we've shared over the last few months, and I've never seen you working together more effectively as a global company - it's time to give Groupon a relief valve from the public noise.
For those who are concerned about me, please don't be - I love Groupon, and I'm terribly proud of what we've created. I'm OK with having failed at this part of the journey. If Groupon was Battletoads, it would be like I made it all the way to the Terra Tubes without dying on my first ever play through. I am so lucky to have had the opportunity to take the company this far with all of you. I'll now take some time to decompress (FYI I'm looking for a good fat camp to lose my Groupon 40, if anyone has a suggestion), and then maybe I'll figure out how to channel this experience into something productive.
If there's one piece of wisdom that this simple pilgrim would like to impart upon you: have the courage to start with the customer. My biggest regrets are the moments that I let a lack of data override my intuition on what's best for our customers. This leadership change gives you some breathing room to break bad habits and deliver sustainable customer happiness - don't waste the opportunity!
I judge people. All the time. You probably do it too, based on what you can tell about a person. By how they talk, what they wear, and how they carry themselves. By what you know of their family, where they went to school, or where they work. Maybe subconsciously by their skin color and accent too, though you'll never admit it out loud. I know I do.
Judging isn't a bad thing – it's just a way to evaluate someone based on the information you have at a given moment. Sure, it can be wrong, but it's just a baseline. Recently, I found another way to evaluate people that tracks pretty closely with real life.
Ready for it? Watch someone cross the street. Really, that's it. You see, I'm of the belief that you can tell so much more about someone when their guard is down, when you can observe them doing something that's so routine they usually don't think twice.
There are four main kinds of people:
People who cross the street with reckless abandon. They really don't care about the law, or anything for that matter. They'll keep walking, traffic honking and swerving around them. They might not be aware of their surroundings, or they might just choose to ignore them. These are the wildcards in life. For the most part, they're focused on themselves. They either believe everyone will bend to their whims, or just never take the time to pay attention to the world around them.
People who just follow. Most of the people you see will fall into this category. These people are just average. They'll wait at the walk sign because everyone's waiting at the walk sign. It's probably the safe thing to do. Then as some people start crossing, they'll look around and wait for a critical mass of people to start crossing before they go. Even if cars are coming – if everyone's crossing… well, everyone can't be wrong, can they? In life, you can always find them siding with the majority, never really making a decision for themselves.
People who wait for the walk sign, because “that's the law.” They're your typical law-abiding citizen. They'll keep waiting, staring at their phones or just looking at the pedestrian crossing sign until the walk sign appears. Then they'll cross and go nicely about their day. That's mostly how they approach life as well: do your part, follow the rules, everything'll be okay. At least they stand for something.
People who evaluate the situation for themselves and cross on their own terms. Finally, my personal ideal. These are people who don't stupidly run across the street with a blatant disregard for their surroundings. Yet they'll take a step forward, and as the last car passes they have no problem looking both ways and crossing. They realize that it's pointless to sit and wait around for the last fifteen seconds while life passes them by and the street sits empty. They're willing to take a calculated “risk” and not just follow rules blindly because “that's the way it is.”
So next time you're out walking, stop and look around. What kind of people are you surrounded by? What kind of person are you? Are you willing to be the first to cross the street when last car passes? And just remember: life is what happens while you're waiting for the walk sign.
You should follow me on twitter here.
There's also a lively discussion on Hacker News.
It's hard to describe the feeling of achieving something you've always dreamed of. I'll be honest, when it happened to me, I felt like I was on top of the world, like nothing could bring me down. Until I had the sobering realization that maybe I had the wrong goal all along.
I've never really written about getting into Y Combinator or my (amazing) experience throughout. It's mostly because in my head I'd decided that when I would write about it, I would write fondly of the days when we realized that we were on the path to success. Getting into Y Combinator was always a huge goal for me, as it undoubtedly is for many other aspiring entrepreneurs. It was the “one thing” I needed to ensure success. After all, once I joined YC, what could go wrong? Surely investors would come flocking and customers would line up in awe.
We created Hiptype as a side project in March 2012, while I was still working at Chartboost as an early engineer. When I found out we'd been accepted to YC's Summer 2012 batch, I'd been at Chartboost for under six months. Being able to see our internal numbers, I knew this was one of the fastest growing startups in the space, one that re-defined the term “exponential growth” (they recently proved me right, announcing a $19M Series B led by Sequoia earlier in January). It could have been a hard decision – unvested options, an amazing team, and the chance to be a part of something that I knew was going to become big. But for me, the decision to leave was instantaneous. After all, I came to the Valley to do something of my own (and hopefully get into YC eventually), the opportunity just came sooner than I could've imagined. I didn't need to give the decision a second thought, it just felt like the thing I had to do.
So I did, and we joined YC's Summer 2012 batch shortly thereafter. For the longest time, everything was just as picture perfect as we'd imagined. We'd stay up late working on the latest product sprint. We saw week-over-week improvement. We were even on track to get publishers piloting our analytics plugin in their eBooks by the end of the Summer. We were, in all senses of the meaningless phrase, “killing it.” But in the blink of an eye, everything changed. Conversations that were going oh-so-well suddenly seemed derailed. Platforms that had analytics working were suddenly blocked. Every calculated risk we'd taken just seemed to backfire (e.g. platform risk we'd incurred by building on the largest ebook platforms instead of making our own app). I'll save you the long story, as we've already written about our experience and lessons learned in our post What We Learned, but it resulted in us ultimately deciding to wind down our analytics service in December 2012.
Looking back and re-evaluating my goals, it seems Y Combinator was never the main goal after all, just a milestone along the way. My real, “ultimate” goal was never merely launching a product (after all, anyone can do that), just getting users, just getting investors, or even just getting validation. Maybe my real goal boils down to making something people really want. Making something big.
When I've talked with family, friends, and mentors, the first question I've gotten is, “Why don't you just do another startup?” I've definitely evaluated a few ideas, and the thought is tempting – a year ago I might have even said it's the best thing to do. But since, I've realized that I don't want to “do a startup” for the sake of doing a startup. I don't want to whiteboard ideas for products and business models that people might be interested in. It's overrated. Instead, I want to solve a burning problem that I have. I want to be 110% passionate about the idea. I want to know that if nothing else, I have diehard customers who get an immense value out of what I've built. I'll do my next startup when I settle on what exactly that is. But for now…
I'm extremely excited to announce that I've joined Zynga as their Product Manager for Real-Money Gaming (RMG). Why RMG at Zynga? I'm really excited by the challenge. I'm joining a company that has immense experience in creating games that engage users and enable them to interact with their friends. Real-Money Gaming is a natural extension, and will give me the opportunity to work with an incredibly talented team to reinvent casual gaming. It's an incredible opportunity, and I'll be joining a growing team and helping shape the future of Zynga's business.
I'll be honest: I realize that Zynga is no Charity: Water. I'm not going to be improving someone's everyday life like Dropbox (students, teams, everyone), Instacart (everyone), Amicus (nonprofits), or Gumroad (content creators). But I will be getting the chance to build a kick-ass product that you might even use someday. Everything we do will be scrutinized in the public eye, for better and for worse – and that excites me. In reality, it's incredibly easy to look back at decisions and say “I should have done that,” “I could have that”, and “Why the hell would he do that.” After all, spectating is the common man's sport and everyone has an opinion. From my side, I just see a rocketship being built. I'm sure as hell going to get onboard and help build it from the ground up.
“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with success unexpected in common hours.” –Henry David Thoreau
Earlier this month we took our Hiptype.com analytics service offline as we transition Hiptype to a new home where we’ll be able to have a much larger overall impact and achieve our mission of bringing data-driven tools to book publishing.
We have learned throughout the last few months that there are major challenges facing innovations in eBook publishing.
Discovering an Opportunity for eBook Analytics
Back in the spring of 2012, we were just a couple startup geeks at the initial stages of writing an eBook about analytics and data. As we researched the various options for publishing our book, it quickly became apparent that eBook publishing was years behind the web and native apps in terms of the types of insights and analytics available to publishers.
While publishers of apps and websites can now capture sophisticated data about their customers and how they use their products, eBook publishers typically have little information about how readers are engaging with their titles.
In other environments like the App Store and the web, third-party analytics plugins have addressed the demand for data by allowing publishers to easily include analytics capabilities with a few lines of code. It occurred to us that a similar concept could work with eBooks.
We got in touch with a few contacts in the publishing business, and their frustration with the lack of data available was palpable. This was especially true among authors and publishers, and we were surprised to learn that even the largest publishers in the world didn’t have even the most basic data about how their books are used.
Our attention quickly moved from the eBook itself to this fascinating question of whether it’s possible to add a third-party analytics plugin to an eBook document in a way that would work with any of the most popular eBook readers. What if we could help authors and publishers learn about the most and least popular sections in a book, and the various segments of their audience? We simply had to try it.
Implementing the Impossible
We first narrowed down to a couple of specific eBook formats that were both popular and more likely to yield some way of supporting analytics features. These were the ePub-based formats that are used by Amazon, Apple, and Nook.
The latest ePub specifications contain support for several features that could be used for analytics purposes. And while formats like Kindle Format and iBooks are proprietary, they are modified versions of ePub that are easy enough to work with for a developer familiar with HTML.
Within a few days of intense reverse engineering of these ePub-based formats, we found a way to get the exact kind of analytics data we’d been seeking titles published in Apple’s iBooks format. We quickly started scheduling meetings with eBook publishers to get the analytics service deployed.
A Promising Launch
Within just a few days of completing our prototype, we submitted an application to the Y Combinator Summer 2012 program and within a few weeks we went for a secondary interview and were accepted into the batch.
Our team moved to Mountain View for the summer, and we quickly got to work out building out our service. We created an online dashboard at Hiptype.com, where you could upload a book document and download a version modified to include the Hiptype analytics plugin. Once the plugin was loaded into one of the supported eBook readers, the dashboard would instantly fill up with information about the audience of the book and how they were engaging with the title.
It wasn’t long before word got around within publishing circles and we found ourselves being contacted by executives from the world’s biggest and best publishers.
We launched in the first week of August, with coverage provided by Fast Company, Techcrunch, PandoDaily, Publishers Weekly, PaidContent, and other top publications. Within a week of our public launch, thousands had signed up for an invite to try Hiptype.
Working with eBook Platform Vendors
Unfortunately, the launch spotlight also forced the delicate conversations we’d been having with eBook retailers to speed up. The vendors controlling the largest eBook platforms had some legitimate concerns about a developer ecosystem springing up around their services, which were not designed with this type of third-party development in mind.
The primary concerns we discussed with our contacts at the eBook platform vendors were privacy and performance. If we could address both of these areas, it looked promising that we’d be able to work out a way to get our analytics plugin available to millions of titles on these platforms.
Privacy is a huge issue affecting all types of technology. There is currently little in the way of regulations and laws about tracking, analytics, personalized advertising, and other uses of data that many people feel invades their privacy.
The privacy concerns surrounding Hiptype were not substantially different than those for any other type of analytics product. There needed to be a clear disclosure letting readers know that their eBook contained an analytics plugin, and an opt-out preference that would work across all titles. Additionally, vendors asked that we kept all analytics anonymous, and didn’t attempt to retrieve any kind of personally identifiable information (PII) such as names and email addresses.
We updated the analytics plugin so it contained a disclosure about Hiptype’s anonymous usage statistics, and included a link to more information and a simple opt-out button that would set a preference across all books.
We also made some technical changes to the analytics plugin to make data shared with our servers encrypted for security, and replaced a demographics panel in our online dashboard with a “Personas” panel that would provide the same amount of insight to publishers and authors but abstracted away the exact demographic details to lower the “creepy factor”.
The second type of concern shared by the eBook platform vendors was that eBook analytics would make the reading platforms sluggish, reduce battery at a faster rate, and use unnecessary amounts of data bandwidth. These are truly important issues among mobile device vendors, and we took it upon ourselves to minimize the footprint of our analytics plugin.
Over a Redbull-fueled weekend hackathon, we rewrote the analytics plugin code to make it faster and leaner, and the interface to send analytics back to the server was re-architected to batch requests to only send data to the server once every 30 seconds so that less battery and data would be required.
Obstacles and Setbacks
While the conversations with our contacts at the eBook platform vendors initially seemed promising, by mid-September it was clear that getting approval for Hiptype would be no cakewalk. It didn’t help that publishers and retailers were dealing with antitrust lawsuits from the US Department of Justice - there was concern that if any data happened to be shared between parties, it would appear that publishers had formed a monopolistic “data cartel”. While it wasn’t our intention to form such a cartel, we were surprised by how often this was brought up in conversations.
Just a few days after speaking with a representative from Apple, an iBooks update was released that removed the support for analytics we previously had. Progress with Amazon and Barnes & Noble had also stalled. In all three cases, the eBook platform vendors also had corresponding app platforms that publishers have been using when they desired features that weren’t supported by eBooks, sometimes with great results.
The problem is that from all three vendors, we were eventually told the same thing - if we wanted a feature that wasn’t supported for eBooks, then we should be looking at their app platforms instead. We were referred to app store representatives and told that we would be supported as an analytics plugin if we followed the developer guidelines for these platforms.
But our mission wasn’t to provide yet another analytics plugin for mobile apps. These existed already. Our mission was to provide an analytics plugin for eBooks, so that data that was previously locked up could be made available where it was needed most.
But right now, there’s no indication that ePub3 or a format with support for similar features will be adopted by the eBook platform vendors within the foreseeable future. With Hiptype, we were too early. And in the fast-paced world of startups where you often don’t have more than a few months of runway to prove out an idea, being too early is the same as being wrong.
While we’re sad to shutdown Hiptype in its current form, we couldn’t be more excited about the new home we have found for the service. We’ll be announcing details shortly.
Behind the product, Levy and Prasad have an ambitious vision.They argue that e-book publishers need to follow the example of popular websites by using data to become leaner and smarter. For example, they say publishers could start testing their books by releasing them to a small number of readers, then tweak the content based on the data. Hiptype also allows publishers to use its data to create targeted Facebook ad campaigns.
“We believe that data will save the book publishing industry,” Levy says.
Publishers testing Hiptype in beta, for instance, were surprised by “how low conversion rates are” — early data suggests that only three to four percent of people who download a free ebook sample go on to buy the book — and how few people who do buy a book finish reading it.
“It can be a bit of a bummer,” Levy said. “But as soon as you start measuring, you can do tests and see what moves the needle. We’re already doing research on the data we’re collecting. As data hackers, we think there are underlying patterns here even if they’re not apparent at first.”
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
I’m taking time off from Carnegie Mellon. Imagine telling the parents that have done everything in their power to provide you with a good education that you want to leave school. Yeah. It’s been a busy past few weeks, but I’m excited to say that I’ll be moving to San Francisco on January 8th, joining the awesome Chartboost team as their 2nd engineer.
Risk. Technically I’m on a leave of absence, so if things don’t work out I can always come back next fall or spring. Sure, leaving school is “risky”—I won’t have a degree that “certifies” me: I’ll only have my skills, network, and experience to fall back on.
“The biggest risk is not taking any risk… In a world that’s changing really quickly, the only strategy where you’re guaranteed to fail is not taking any risks.” – Mark Zuckerberg
Success. I was discussing life and such with Daniel Tunkelang (who gave me an awesome perspective) and he asked me what I consider long-term success and why I want to start a company. For the money? For the thrill of the ride? Once you figure out your end goals, you can work backward from there. For me personally, it’s neither. What really drives me is having an impact on the world. While I'm on that roller-coaster I know I'll love the thrill of the ride, and if what I do really does impact people, the money will be there—those last two aren't my end goals, they're byproducts. That framework really helped me evaluate where I want to be and made me more confident in my decision.
“I talk to these founders with these big ideas, and they jump from the problem they're solving to who they're going to be or what they're going to get. I hear 'It's going to be a billion dollar company' and I have this switch in my head that slowly shuts off. Because they're jumping to the effect. You have to be the cause…If you want to be Mark Zuckerberg the best you're going to be is second place. Because Mark Zuckerberg will always be a better Mark Zuckerberg than you.” – Ashton Kutcher
Learning. My parents (and people in general) are quick to point out that college dropouts who become successful are “outliers” (a fact that seems true after looking at statistics). But the statistic is misleading – Victor Cheng, an Inc 500 CEO Coach, mentioned: “Most people who drop out of school also drop out of learning.” Dropping out of learning is a sure-fire path to failure. Looking at the “outliers” you’ll notice that they maintain a passion and hunger, always having a burning desire to learn more. They merely drop out of formal education – they never drop out of learning. Personally, I’m a huge fan of learning—there’s just so much out there that I don’t know. I’ll be learning about success, failure, scaling to millions of users, dealing with customers, and so much more, hands-on. I’ll get the time to take Stanford’s wonderful Natural Language Processing course online (among others), to meet people, to make things, to live. I really am looking forward to learning—learning informally, non-institutionally, in the real world.
The future. The most common question I’m asked is “What’s your five-year plan?” Nowadays, everyone seems to have their own perfect formula for success – for people who think they want to eventually go into startups it sounds something like: “I’m going to go to [Carnegie Mellon], get three solid internships at [big companies], graduate with a double major, work at [Google] for three years, get my MBA, and start my startup.” A couple people even add in a quick 5-year Masters in there—the more the better, right? Not necessarily – I’ve never had a five-year plan. Instead, I’ve always had a really firm ten-year plan: I want to create a startup that improves the way people go about their daily lives – I just realize that there are so many ways to get there.
“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever – because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well worn path, and that will make all the difference.” –Steve Jobs
I read TechCrunch, have since I was 12 years old – during middle school I would religiously sit and go through tech blogs for hours every day. The stories were awe-inspiring; people creating amazing things that change the way people interact, people creating something from nothing. For the longest time I've known that I'm going to be an entrepreneur—not for the glory or the money, but for the chance to improve how someone goes about their daily life. For the chance to make someone look at their computer and say “where would I be without that.”
Over the last few months, some of the things I’ve been doing (like NowStream from the Disrupt Hackathon back in May, and more recently, some of my work at Google) have been featured on TechCrunch; it’s actually a dream come true. Still, I feel like people treat TechCrunch posts like they’ve started treating funding rounds: a destination instead of a milestone.
I came to the valley as an intern at Google and I lef— well, I don't think I can ever leave. When I came here I was really nothing more than a tourist who happened to be working at Google. I went to Market Street to ride the cable cars, took photos of the funny looking Google bikes, and dreamed of just passing by the offices of a startup I'd read about (or even cooler, one that I'd used). I learned a lot as I found my way in the Valley, but a couple things stood out from the rest:
First and foremost– at any tech event, never interrupt (or hijack the conversation of) a guy who's talking to a girl. He thinks he has a chance, and he'll blame you (subconsciously at least) if it doesn't work out. It doesn't matter who he is, trust me- nothing good will come of it.
It's about what you bring to the table. Unlike other places, Silicon Valley is a meritocracy. It seems like everyone who comes to Silicon Valley wants to meet successful entrepreneurs and other tech luminaries, so they go out and “network.” It takes a while for them to realize that networking in the Valley defies the traditional stereotypes of business people in three-piece suits talking about their success – if you ask someone here what their background is, you get answers like “I created this” and “I've been working on that (as a side project)…” Going to an Ivy League gives your name a bit of credit, knowing Michael Arrington makes you popular with people who want you to make introductions, and having funding lets you afford expensive bar tabs and Uber rides across the city. Those are all great, but in the end people want to know what you can do. Do something awesome, and soon enough people want to talk to you. (Credit to my dad who tried to teach me this, but it was something I had to experience and learn for myself.)
You're surrounded by smart people who've done amazing things. I met Elias Bizannes (creator of StartupBus) at a party he was hosting back in July. We were having a conversation when someone mentioned, "this kid is interning at Google,” and that's all it took - Elias went on a rant for half an hour, telling me about how I wasn’t “realizing my potential.” He explained to me what he called the “Everest Syndrome,” where some of the smartest people waste their potential in the middle management of a large corporation, climbing corporate peaks for the elusive goal of getting to the top. I learned a lot in that conversation, and even after that brief conversation he’s given me invaluable advice, and I now look up to him as a mentor. At another event, I met someone who was trying to revolutionize media by creating an online television network with original content and newfangled distribution mechanisms and was invited to his studio in Los Angeles. I would have never met these people had I been set on only meeting the “tech elite,” but in the Valley you're surrounded by people who have interesting stories of their own - you're just one “hi” away from finding out more.
I learned more in the last three months than I ever have – Google was a great experience, one that helped me achieve a childhood goal: I woke up every day looking forward to work, because I truly enjoyed what I was doing. Silicon Valley is more than just a place; it’s a lifestyle. I’ve found mentors, met people I couldn't have dreamed of meeting, and been inspired to do something great in the world. Although I was considering taking time off from school to join/work on a startup, I know Carnegie Mellon has a lot to offer (albeit in its own way). Here's to hoping that I won't let my schooling interfere with my education, but that I'll take advantage of both.