“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
When I was a kid I blew the fuse in my parents' house—a lot. I had turned the basement into my "laboratory," where I spent far too many late nights poring through science books, building gadgets, and using a lot of electricity. I was sure I'd be an engineer.

Then came calculus, which I hated, and science became just a hobby. I moved on, studying economics, working in banking.

But when a friend revealed a closet packed with servers and an idea for a startup, I wanted to be involved. So I quit my job and turned my apartment into an "office," where I spent far too many late nights researching, writing business plans, and using a lot of caffeine.

My startup experience taught me big and small lessons about myself. First, I realized I still love gadgets and want to be around technology. More important, whether acting as a venture capitalist or as an entrepreneur, I'm addicted to the electric excitement of building new things, taking chances, and trying to influence the future. Fuses exist to prevent surges of energy. After HBS I hope to blow a bunch more fuses.

— Mark Cicirelli