Interview with Author Cynthia Kocialski
Cynthia Kocialski is the author of “Out of the Classroom Lessons in Success:”. Cynthia Kocialski shares with her readers how to prosper without being top of your class.
Cynthia Kocialski is the founder of three tech companies. What makes her unique is that she has experienced many start-ups and seen them from the inside out, including the day-to-day trials and tribulations, not just the milestones and status presented to passive investors and outsiders. In the past 15 years, she has been involved in dozens of start-ups and has served on various advisory boards. These companies have collectively returned billions of dollars to investors. Cynthia has held various technical, marketing, and management positions at IBM and Matrox Electronics. Cynthia has engineering and mathematics degrees from the University of Rochester and the University of Virginia.
Yvonne Wu – What is the first sign that a startup will be a failure?
Cynthia Kocialski – When I speak with the founders and there is a sense of arrogance. It’s the attitude that we’re planning this great product and company, and no one is going to tell us what to do because we know what to do. They don’t want to listen to anyone. But I know that whatever they are planning, won’t unfold as they expect and if they hold to their grand plans, the company will fail.
Yvonne Wu – How does this book help youth?
Cynthia Kocialski – It provides them with a different perspective on success. A lot of times we are told things as children that we just accept and don’t challenge, only to find out later that they tricked us. One of my favorites is the saying, “It’s not whether you win or lose that matters, it’s how you play the game”. No, really, winning matters. Who hires an attorney who loses all his cases, or a doctor who never cures her patients? I encounter way too many entrepreneurs who believe it’s all about effort – they’ve never learned how to compete. Instead of starting a business with the intent to win, they start with the belief that they’ll give it the good, ole college try.
Yvonne Wu – The title of your book what does it mean?
Cynthia Kocialski - Being a success isn’t about what you learn in school. At best, school opens the first door for you to land your first job. That’s it! It doesn’t make you successful. How many people ask their doctors if they can see their transcripts from medical school? Did your cardiologist really get an ‘A’ in Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Organ Systems? Success is what you learn outside the classroom and then apply to your future profession. Grades in school are not indicative of success. I see too many people who think it’s all about grades – our youths are encouraged to study hard and study all day long – but that’s not the path to success. There’s more to it. This is why just average students and those with non-academic talents can succeed.
Yvonne Wu – Describe your book in 3 words.
Cynthia Kocialski – Succeeding Beyond Academics.
Yvonne Wu – Tell us where “Out of the Classroom Lessons in Success” is available.