A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from March 16, 2016
“If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask what seat. Just get on”

Sheryl Sandberg, an American technology executive with Google and then Facebook, spoke before the graduating class of Harvard Business School in May 2012. She said of her taking interview with Google’s Eric Schmidt:

“So I sat down with Eric Schmidt, who had just become the CEO, and I showed him the spread sheet and I said, this job meets none of my criteria. He put his hand on my spreadsheet and he looked at me and said, Don’t be an idiot. Excellent career advice. And then he said, Get on a rocket ship. When companies are growing quickly and they are having a lot of impact, careers take care of themselves. And when companies aren’t growing quickly or their missions don’t matter as much, that’s when stagnation and politics come in. If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask what seat. Just get on.”

“If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask what seat. Just get on”—that is, join a fast-rising company—was actually said by Schmidt to Sandberg, although the quote is usually attributed to Sheryl Sandberg.


Wikipedia: Sheryl Sandberg
Sheryl Kara Sandberg (/ˈsændbərɡ/; born August 28, 1969) is an American technology executive, activist, and author. She is the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook. In June 2012, she was elected to the board of directors by the existing board members, becoming the first woman to serve on Facebook’s board. Before she joined Facebook as its COO, Sandberg was Vice President of Global Online Sales and Operations at Google and was involved in launching Google’s philanthropic arm Google.org. Before Google, Sandberg served as chief of staff for United States Secretary of the Treasury Lawrence Summers.

Wikipedia: Eric Schmidt
Eric Emerson Schmidt (born April 27, 1955) is an American software engineer, businessman, as well as the executive chairman of Alphabet Inc (formerly named Google). In 2016, Forbes ranked Schmidt as the 138th-richest person in the world, with an estimated wealth of $11 billion.

Twitter
Grace Woo
‏@radishpower
“If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask what seat. Just get on.” Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO, HBS graduation. #radish
2:57 PM - 23 May 2012

Business Insider
Sheryl Sandberg’s Full HBS Speech: Get On A Rocketship Whenever You Get The Chance
Jay Yarow
May 25, 2012, 1:00 PM
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg delivered a speech to the graduating class of Harvard Business School this week.

As usual, it’s a great speech. We have the full video here, as well as a transcript from HBS below. (HBS warned us that one of their people, not a professional transcriber, wrote up the speech, so there might be typos.)
(...)
I am MBA trained, so I made a spreadsheet. I listed my jobs in the columns and my criteria in the rows, and compared the companies and the missions and the roles. One of the jobs on that sheet was to become Google’s first business unit general manager, which sounds good now, but at the time no one thought consumer internet companies could ever make money. I was not sure there was actually a job there at all. Google had no business units, so what was there to generally manage. And the job was several levels lower than jobs I was being offered at other companies. So I sat down with Eric Schmidt, who had just become the CEO, and I showed him the spread sheet and I said, this job meets none of my criteria. He put his hand on my spreadsheet and he looked at me and said, Don’t be an idiot. Excellent career advice. And then he said, Get on a rocket ship. When companies are growing quickly and they are having a lot of impact, careers take care of themselves. And when companies aren’t growing quickly or their missions don’t matter as much, that’s when stagnation and politics come in. If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask what seat. Just get on.

Google Books
Lean In:
Women, Work, and the Will to Lead

By Sheryl Sandberg
New York, NY: Alfred A, Knopf
2013
Pg. 58:
He (Google’s Eric Schmidt—ed.) told me, “If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, you don’t ask what seat. You just get on.” I made up my mind that instant.

Google Books
1000 Inspiring Quotes
By James Egan
Lulu Publishing Services (Lulu.com)
2015
Pg. 113:
If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask what seat! Just get on. - Sheryl Sandberg

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWork/Businesses • Wednesday, March 16, 2016 • Permalink