Dropping out.

Connor Montgomery
Aug 23, 2012 · 2 min read

Tony used to tell me “San Francisco is the place for you; you don’t need college to be successful here… do what you love”.

And frankly, until a few months ago, I thought he was full of crap.

To preface, I wouldn’t be where I am if it wasn’t for him. Somehow or another, my post on HN caught his eye, and I convinced him to hire me for the summer to build out a hacker’s CMS.

Turns out he had another idea up his sleeve, and well, the rest is history, as I was fortunate enough to receive an opportunity to help prototype Lift.

After taking the Fall of 2011 off to stay on full-time at Lift, I went back to school that Spring thinking I’d go about finishing up my degree. Before leaving, he took me on a walk through Dolores Park and left me with some advice:

You can go to school, get a crappy* GPA studying Computer Science, graduate and get a decent job [in the midwest] because of your side projects. But I’ve seen how you work, and you love it out here. This is the place for you…

And that stuck with me. It’s been brewing in the back of my mind for months now.

So this summer, while I was interning at Apple, I began pondering the possibility of dropping out, for good. It made me happy — the thought of working on something I’m passionate about with brilliant people (much like my time at Lift). So, I said what the hell, and reached out to a small number of companies I was interested in joining.

Fast-forward a very hectic few months, and here I am, packing up my room in suburbia Kansas to head to San Francisco in a few days. I couldn’t be more excited or honored to be joining the incredible team at Pinterest!

Looking back and thinking it all started with an email from Tony is crazy.

I have no idea what the future will hold for me, but I have an itch it’ll be an exciting one.

For now, I’d like to say thank you, and high five.

* It was crappy, indeed.

    Connor Montgomery

    Written by

    Builder at @pinterest; also hack on @domainr. Previously: Apple, @LiftApp. I have a thing for high-fives.