During my first 20 years of working, I struggled to make a contribution. All around me, my mentors, bosses and co-workers kept saying 'it's just business--you're taking it too personally--just do what you're asked to do.' But that was never enough for me. I tried starting my own business but my lonely efforts never built enough momentum to make a difference.
I met Cliff Kurtzman because at one point we were both reading Fast Company magazine, the first business to boldly declare on its front cover 'Work is personal.' All through the pages of the magazine were stories of people who were working for one thing: to make a difference. Well, Cliff doesn't read Fast Company anymore, but he still cares about the same things, as evidenced in this interview about his experience creating the web site www.year2000.com.
When the clocks prepared to roll over on the eve of Y2K, the mood was almost anti-climactic. As the new-year came and went, everything worked! There were very few reported instances of serious problems caused by the Y2K bug. Looking back, I'm proud to say that we were able to demonstrate an ability to use an Internet venture to make a significant change in the world and to avert a very real and tangible crisis that threatened to cause hundreds of billions of dollars in damages. It is not often that one has a chance to make a worldwide impact on that scale.