Well, relatively speaking.
Alastair Mitchell is 37. Following is an interview with him in Sunday’s New York Times, in the business section. He’s the chief executive of Huddle, a software company that lives somewhere out on a cloud.
There are three things young Alastair has to say in this interview that makes him worthy of mention on this blog.
First, in response to the question about early influences on his entrepreneurial endeavors, he credits his grandfather. We like it when young people acknowledge the guiding hand of the old.
Second, he’s quite open about professional mistakes he’s made, in fact, using the active voice when describing one: “I made the classic young-manager mistake…” This is in stark contrast to the popular passive construction used by most bureaucracies and corporations: “Mistakes were made.”
But my favorite comment from the little tikey-entrepreneur has to do with his Big Red Bus test. A more incisive and visual version of the Bucket List metaphor, this one has special resonance for me. I was almost run over by one of those big honking buses whilst in London last year.
Larking around South Kensington one beautiful November day, I was just about to step into the street when I saw a look of horror on a fellow pedestrian’s face. I immediately lunged back onto the sidewalk just as a Big Red Bus made its turn.
Now, I confess that no dramatic insights occurred to me as I barely escaped the rampaging bus, but the experience has made Alastair's test much more meaningful to me.