Take 1:
An ac­quain­tance once de­scribed me like this: “Most peo­ple who are cyn­i­cal are al­so pes­simistic. And con­verse­ly, most peo­ple who are op­ti­mistic are al­so naive. But you have the rare com­bi­na­tion of be­ing deeply cyn­i­cal yet deeply op­ti­mistic.” Love it.

Take 2:
I’m not that smart; I am the luck­i­est per­son I’ve ever met. I’ve been pro­found­ly lucky in busi­ness, in the com­pa­nies I’ve start­ed and run; with ge­net­ics; with women; with my fam­i­ly; in school and grades; I’ve lived and have ex­pe­ri­enced hu­man na­ture (warts and all) on four con­ti­nents; I’ve been pro­found­ly lucky in al­most every way my lim­it­ed imag­i­na­tion can con­ceive of. For­tune has the cor­nu­copia in one hand and the rud­der in the oth­er: it has­n’t been easy and I’ll tell you about the scars over al­co­hol.

Take 3:
I have okay ideas–but great im­ple­men­ta­tion. I’ve start­ed many web sites, and ob­sessed over a few — which have then se­ri­ous­ly tak­en off. I’ve writ­ten a few books, which have been best sell­ers. I’ve made mil­lions of peo­ple laugh. I’ve run the on­line part of a pres­i­den­tial cam­paign. I’ve built up mar­kets (such as in mod­ern wed­ding art) where no one thought they ex­ist­ed: both for my own com­pa­nies and my clients’. My ideas may not be that amaz­ing; but I’m great at turn­ing them in­to ac­tion.

Take 4:
When I was a kid, I played pi­ano ob­ses­sive­ly, but I haven’t played for years. Above all: since el­e­men­tary school (when I mem­o­rized the dic­tio­nary while wait­ing for the bus to come pick me up) I’ve been ob­sess­ing over words, where they come from, what they mean and what they im­ply — and this ob­ses­sion ut­ter­ly dom­i­nates me and has­n’t let up for a mo­ment.

Take 5:
My life phi­los­o­phy: Half-ass-ery is the root of all evil.