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Ben Horowitz

Silicon Graphics internship

1 Jul, 1986

Horowitz gets an internship at computer startup Silicon Graphics through a family connection with CEO Ken Coleman. He says he was not properly prepared for the experience and constantly expected to be fired:

Unfortunately, I had not been properly socialized for life inside a big corporation. As the son of a new left radical (who later completely switched sides), I was combat trained. If somebody said something that I didn’t agree with, I wouldn’t hesitate to attack them ruthlessly, call their ideas stupid or personally insult them. I couldn’t help it. It was how I was raised. It was like I was Huey P. Newton and everybody else was The Man. I am quite sure that I would have and should have been fired several times, but for some reason Ken Coleman took an interest in me and smoothed things over whenever I got myself into trouble. He was my personal guardian angel. He helped me to build my life and career doing what I loved.