Shai Agassi is a 40 year old wildly successful founder of Better Place, a company deep into the green energy production boom. He left a very lucrative career with software giant SAP just before they were to name him CEO to take a giant leap towards his dream. Harvard Business Review recently interviewed him. Here is an excerpt from that interview.
HBR: How did you go from global corporate executive to energy entrepreneur?
Agassi: I had a sliding-doors moment in 2006—a moment when if you turned one way, your life and career would go in one direction, and if you turned another way, you would go off on a completely different track. I was in Paris, and I was pondering whether to continue on and become co-CEO at SAP. It was a job I had been groomed for, and I was ready to lead. But I was also fascinated by the idea of powering vehicles with wind- and solar-charged batteries. At that point, Better Place didn’t even have a business plan—it was just an idea. And the moment could have passed me by quite easily.
I remember walking down the Champs-Élysées, so that I could think. I paced it one way, imagining myself at 50 years old having decided to stay at SAP. I imagined not only that SAP had succeeded under my leadership but that we had beaten Microsoft—we were number one. Then I walked the other way, picturing myself at 50 but having left SAP and pursued my dream. I pictured the worst-case scenario—that Better Place had been a failure. At five o’clock in the morning, after walking all night, I said to myself: “This is the sliding-doors moment, and there’s no question which path I should take. I’d rather fail at Better Place than succeed at SAP because no other job could compare to trying to save the world.”
I love it! That was so inspiring for me to read. Read the rest of the interview HERE.
Do you have a dream? Perhaps it is time to “GO FO IT”! (Better to have tried and failed than never to have tried at all…Someone else said that…not me!)