5 Things I’ve Learned: David Kristal
Friday, October 8, 2021
David Kristal, ’87 BSB, is the founder and CEO of Augeo, a leading loyalty and digital engagement platform that designs and supports enterprise and engagement solutions for companies. He co-chairs Augeo and its fintech subsidiary, Figg, working at the forefront of emerging digital advertising channels.
1. Explore fearlessly and if you stumble, race ahead.
An invaluable life lesson for me is to take risks, and if mistakes are made, fix them fast and race ahead. We made a pivotal decision two decades ago to transform my family’s struggling restaurant business into what eventually became Augeo. We stumbled plenty of times. Our passion for learning, coupled with objective decisioning, helped us understand that mistakes provide growth opportunities.
2. See the world through the eyes of a child.
Open your mind to the unlimited possibilities the world presents. When you allow yourself to lead with curiosity and imagination, every experience becomes an opportunity to discover your untapped potential for personal and professional growth. As we move through life, it’s too easy to lose touch with our innate sense of wonder, so I’ve learned to take an active approach to align my outlook with childlike curiosity.
3. Our purpose in life is learned not pre-determined.
Our personal and professional lives are comprised of sharp turns, dead ends, and newfound paths. The path to realizing our purpose—however defined by each of us—is never a straight line. I have learned to never fear the path along the way. Discovering and realizing our purpose is a learned behavior, and the pursuit of it makes up the mosaic of life’s journey.
4. Don’t ever accept “this is the best we are going to be.”
Bring humility and gratitude to everything you do. I remember how hard it was for Augeo to win its first client, and to this day, we take nothing for granted. Ever-evolving challenges require constant iteration. There will always be a new barrier to overcome. The downfall of a magician is the belief in his/her own magic. Each and every day, we roll up our sleeves and go after it.
5. Be the “chef” of your professional destiny.
Growing up in the restaurant industry, I understood the importance of ingredients and being familiar with as many as possible. At times, recipes guide the way. Yet more often than not, making the most out of what’s on hand reflects the true art of cooking. By keeping the cupboard full—constantly reminding ourselves of the many ingredients at our disposal—we can create opportunities, optimize situations, and build enduring careers.
This article appeared in the Fall 2021 alumni magazine
Our world, our lives, and our work have changed. We must continue to adapt.
So, how do we do that? Where do we go from here? What’s next?