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I get asked by recent Computer Science graduates what it is like to work building and bringing to market new technology products. My response is the following story based on what a Naval Fighter Pilot told me about what it is like to land an F-18 on an aircraft carrier at night. #startupstories #computerscience
TRUE STORY: Location, Norfolk Virginia
Pilot: "Next time you go home, I want you to go to your bedroom and take out all the furniture, bed, and nightstand, and leave the entire space completely free from obstacles."
Me: OK! (Writing in my little notebook in numerical order)
Pilot: "Now that you have removed everything from your bedroom, it is time to set the stage, and for this, you will need a brand new U.S. postage stamp."
Me: "Yes, Got it; one U.S. Stamp" (Scribbling)
Pilot: "Now, I want you to place that stamp face down on the floor, dead center of your bedroom."
Me: "Ehhh....ok" (Getting even more confused yet highly curious about the context)
Pilot: "Leave the stamp and walk to your bedroom door; make sure you close the door while you are inside your bedroom, listen, son, that part is important because next, you are going to turn off the lights."
Me: Ok, leave stamp, go to the door, remain inside the bedroom and close the door and turn off the lights"... OK OK - got it (More scribbling)
Pilot: "Now, son, I want you to think where that stamp is, and now, think hard, focus, and visualize its location."
Me: "Ehhhhhhhhh, ooooooK" - Even more confused and just not getting the entire simulation; however, I'm so excited about actually trying and having to explain to my parents the sudden removal of the furnishings of the room.
Pilot: "I want you to squat a bit and gather as much leg-muscle strength for the next part."
Me - "Yeah, ok ok - Squat and get ready."
Pilot: "Now jump head first, sticking your tongue out and licking that stamp."
Me: "Wait, wait, wait" 'WTF???? Are you serious?"
Pilot: You better know your craft, be focused like never before, know your target and take a leap knowing you have a high probability of failing and failing hard.