What makes Ashton (um…Chris) Kutcher compelling?

Ashton Kutcher Teen Choice 2013Ashton Kutcher accepted the Teen Choice Award 2013 on August 11 and the video of his speech went viral, with one YouTube post alone at nearly 3M hits as of today. My 15-year-old sent me the link and I have to admit, I had little interest in watching Ashton Kutcher tell teens how to have a successful life.

But I had some time in the car yesterday so I watched it. And it was really interesting. Here was a Hollywood idol telling people he was never better than a job in a grocery store or sweeping up Cheerio dust in a cereal plant. The guy has worked a bit in his life…but that’s not where this story ends.

OK, but there’s more.

Then I read Josh Constine’s piece in TechCrunch on the same topic and I realized that Kutcher is an angel investor that’s had success putting cash into Airbnb, Spotify, Uber and others. A technology investory? That guy waving his arms around in the flannel shirt and baseball cap that has to wait for screaming girls to quiet down just to deliver his main points? Yes, indeed.

Here’s what he told the barely post-puberty crowd:

  • Opportunity looks a lot like hard work
  • The sexiest thing in the entire world is being really smart and being thoughtful and being generous
  • Everything around us that we call life was made up by people that are no smarter than you. You can build your own life that other people can live in.

Never mind the irony that he gave this at an award show focused on image. Yes, Hollywood star, but maybe one who’s realized a few things that are humbling along the way. And even more, someone who’s investing in companies that are changing the world. His influence will last far longer than the memory of his acting ability and for that I think he’s exceptionally smart.


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Categories: Inspiration

Author:Jeanne Roué-Taylor

I'm fascinated by disruptive technology and its impact on our world. I manage sales operations for an excellent startup with a unique team of highly experienced data scientists.

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3 Comments on “What makes Ashton (um…Chris) Kutcher compelling?”

  1. August 17, 2013 at 11:35 am #

    I watched this video too earlier today…and I agree with you all the way.

    I particularly liked his second point for what it was, and also because it is a great message for the kind of audience he was addressing.

  2. Russ McNees
    August 17, 2013 at 1:11 pm #

    I felt the same way you did prior to viewing it, Jeanne. It’s hard to argue with the points he made. Sometime people surprise you.

  3. August 19, 2013 at 6:21 am #

    I too got roped into watching the clip by a teenage relative, but haven’t read the TechCrunch piece. But, as I listed to Ashton talk, I actually mentioned to my wife what you stated in your article. I said, “It is good to see someone investing in this age group, instead of pandering to their need for gossip.” These kids get to see one of these videos for every 1,000 about Lady Gaga’s battle with Perez Hilton.

    It is great to see and I wish more Angel Investors would invest in these types of messages to this group in these types of high-profile settings. We might see some headway in the bad rap this group gets as being short-attention-span, TMZ-focused, and overly entitled (myths I choose not to subscribe to, but unfortunately are true in many cases).

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