Larry Page once told me, back in the early days of Google, not to continue with failing projects. “Either find a way to move it forward,” he said, “or move on to something else.” This mindset is not really that different from the Serenity Prayer. The hard part, especially for social change, is the balance between the snail’s pace of change and a goal of tangible accomplishment over a lifetime.
I knew that Stephanie Kimbro had grown increasingly frustrated with trying to help modernize a legal system that is completely broken in many ways, to the extreme detriment of waaaay too many people. My respected colleague (and fiancee) has published several well-regarded books, articles, and blogs. She tweeted with a vengeance. She gave talks. She taught classes. She participated in committees. She took fellowships and did research. She traveled extensively for little or no money. She was certainly on the cutting edge years ago (e.g. virtual law practice), and stayed ahead of the curve throughout her legal career (e.g. gamification in law). The only area in which she could be accused of being slow to the punch was in how long it took her to finally get fed up with the snail’s pace of change.
“You’ve got to find what you love,” Steve Jobs famously said: 1) you can’t connect the dots looking forward; 2) you do great work only if you love what you do — don’t settle; and 3) life is short — don’t waste a single day. Follow your heart. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.
I think that Stephanie’s best work is in front of her, and I’m fortunate enough to have a front row seat.