财富头脑风暴技术会议（Brainstorm Tech Conference，定于7月22-24日在科罗拉多州阿斯彭召开）总是能吸引技术创新领域最顶尖的人才。《财富》（Furtune）杂志每周都会聚焦于一名与会者，让他们谈谈在公司经营、技术和创业方面的个人观点。本周，我们邀请了在线请愿平台Change.org总裁兼首席运营官詹妮弗•杜尔斯基回答了十个问题，内容涉及工作以外的生活、她最欣赏的公司以及对年轻创业者的建议。以下是她的答案：
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 Change.org President and COO Jennifer Dulski to answer 10 questions about life outside of work, the company she admires most, and industry advice for young entrepreneurs. Her responses follow.
What is the best advice you ever received?
It came from a research study by one of my favorite Cornell professors, Thomas Gilovich, focusing on regret. The research concluded, "Actions, or errors of commission, generate more regret in the short-term; but inactions, or errors of omission, produce more regret in the long run." In other words, while people in the short-term regret "bad" choices, like trying out for something and getting rejected or choosing a job and deciding they don't like it, things are different when they look back on their lives: they most often regret the things they did not try, like not accepting a certain job offer, or not asking out that person they really liked. I often think of this research when faced with a decision, and it pushes me to try new things and challenge myself.
What was the most important thing you learned in school?
The teachers who challenged me the most were also the ones I learned the most from in school. I remember a particular high school teacher of mine, Joe DiPrisco, who had impeccably high standards for strong writing and correct grammar. Even though it was uncomfortable to be corrected, I finished his class as a much stronger writer. I believe the same principle holds true in business – understand that those who push you will make you better, and surround yourself with people who aren't afraid to challenge you. Similarly, others on your team are more likely to exhibit excellence when you expect it of them, so keep your standards high.
What has been your biggest failure?
There's one big mistake I made as a first time entrepreneur that I still laugh about. I named my startup's first product with an apostrophe. In the desire to get a name we could afford without paying through the nose for a domain, I chose "Center'd" (because "Centered" was taken and we couldn't afford to buy it). Not only is an apostrophe a "special character" that caused all kinds of issues in the code for our website, but it was also nearly impossible to speak about Center'd in the possessive, since it then had a double apostrophe! My main learning was this: pick a name that's easy to spell, helps to clearly explain what you do, and, ideally, works around the world. "Center'd" did none of those things. But "The Dealmap," the name for our second product, did all three – and boy, was it easier to give our elevator pitch and to get people to use our product.