Debriefing Patrick Collison’s Advice to 10–20 Year Old’s + My Top 3 Advice Points For The Same Demographic

Zayn Patel
9 min readFeb 14, 2021

Patrick is the founder and CEO of Stripe, a billion dollar company. He started the company when he was 22 years old with his brother.

Founder of Stripe + Billionaire → Patrick Collison

I discovered Patrick by doing a deep dive into founder tandems and came upon a resource he put out on his website — patrickcollison.com/advice. The premise for this segment of his website is to provide advice to 10–20 year olds, guiding them through the “prime years” of life.

As a 17 year old I loved this resource and felt that I resonated with everything Patrick described. I believe one of the most important parts of life is finding a mentor, someone older and more experience that can provide consistent guidance for your endeavors. I would advise for staying away from parents, as mentors. Mentors and parents serve a distinct purpose and shouldn’t be the intersected.

Patrick’s advice column sparked some inspiration for me and I wanted to break down his top tips and provide three of my own.

I’m all about efficiency so here’s what I’m going to discuss today.

  1. The Importance of Going Deep
  2. Be Intentional About What You Do
  3. Leverage the Internet to Make Friends + Connections
  4. Verbal Communication is Crucial, Train Social Skills Now
  5. Why You Should Make Things
  6. My 3 Advice Points for Kids Ages 10–20

The Importance of Going Deep

On the advice tab of Patrick’s website he states that by the time you are at age 20, you should have some sense for the things you enjoy doing since it’s unlikely to drastically change for the rest of your life.

I’ve thought about this from a morbid vantage point. In the sense, we know that early recognition of an illness or disease is the best option for a patient since doctors can recognize it earlier and the patient has a higher chance of recovery and prosperity. A similar rule applies in this scenario. The faster you understand what you’re passionate about, the faster you can recognize the jobs and industry sectors you want to spend time in. Furthermore, by immersing yourself…

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Zayn Patel

Working on space technology and policy, improving government with data science, and launching a cubesat mission.