Living Social CEO Advises Students to Find a Purpose and Execute Well

May 19, 2012 Tim O

When Tim O’Shaughnessy donned a cap and gown at his graduation from Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business eight years ago, he was torn between job offers to become a consultant or a bartender at a resort.

As he struggled to figure out his post-college path, he realized that he needed to take a step back and develop a scorecard for life. The CEO of Living Social told 344 of his soon-to-be fellow alumni during Saturday’s undergraduate business commencement ceremony that he realized that his purpose would be to create jobs.
“I could think of nothing better than giving people a reason to get up and go to work in the morning and also have financial security,” he said.
In founding Living Social, O’Shaughnessy said he discovered that strategy is the easy part of success. In a world where people are pursuing similar new ideas every day, it’s how they execute the idea that makes the difference.
“Execution is also the easiest place to be underestimated,” he said. “Don’t be the person who pontificates about what the company should do at your next job. Be the person who actually does it. The most valuable people at Living Social are not the smartest, but those who actually get things done.”
His final piece of advice for the graduates was to always make themselves the dumbest person in the room. “Find the smartest people you can and latch into them. They will push you, help you solve problems, be the Ying to your Yang.”