Brainstorm Tech Spotlight: Dave Goldberg, CEO of SurveyMonkey

July 8, 2013: 12:36 PM ET

The one startup he would have loved to found? Facebook.

dave_goldberg_surveymonkeyFORTUNE -- Fortune's Brainstorm Tech Conference (July 22-24 in Aspen, Colo.) regularly brings together the best and brightest minds in tech innovation. Each week, Fortune turns the spotlight on a different conference attendee to offer his or her own personal insight into business, tech, and entrepreneurship. This week, we asked SurveyMonkey CEO Dave Goldberg to answer 10 questions about life outside of work, the company he admires most, and industry advice for young entrepreneurs. His responses follow.

What is the best advice you ever received?

Patience in everything. Run the marathon, not a sprint in life and work.

What would you say to a group of young people looking to enter the tough job market?

Find businesses and industries going through dramatic change and growth.  Growth is good. That is where the opportunities will be to make an impact.  You'll also find out what you like and what you are good at.

What would you do if you weren't working at your current job?

I always wanted to be a music supervisor. I really love the craft of finding the right song for a film or TV show. The people who do it well are creative geniuses.

What was your biggest missed opportunity?

I wish had been able to buy back my music business from Yahoo in 2007. We were the leader in online radio, music videos, and subscription music.

What is one startup you would have wanted to found?

Facebook. Connecting the world through real identity has changed the world forever.

[Goldberg is married to Sheryl Sandberg.]

What has been your biggest failure?

Having to sell my first company at a very low price when the dotcom bubble burst.

What business or technology person do you admire most? Why?

Bill Gates -- he's a great leader.  He was an inspiration as I started my first company.  And he is even more of an inspiration now as the world's greatest philanthropist.

What other companies do you admire? Why?

Washington Post where I am on the board. [CEO] Don Graham has guided the company through a very tough period with grace, ethics, and business savvy that are unparalleled.

What do you do to live a balanced life?

I proactively manage my time and commit fully to things that are important like dinners with family.

Is business school necessary for entrepreneurs?

Absolutely not -- take the money you would spend and use it to seed your business. The only way to be an entrepreneur is to do it and learn from experience. No school will teach you what you need to know.

 

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