I’ve known Dustin Wendling since I was 12 years old. I joined Ralston Elementary School in 6th grade, and we hit it off pretty quickly. In one of the only projects I remember from that year, he and I (along with another kid) formed a company called “Syco, Inc.” that sold stress balls (balloons filled with flour) and woven friendship bracelets in our little Society 2000. We made more profit than any other group in the class.
What I didn’t know was his incredible background. He grew up in Chicago, moved to Florida, was expelled in 3rd grade (hilarious story, btw), moved to inner city Denver where he was the only white kid, then joined me on the mountain with a bunch of rich white kids. He then started his post-secondary education while still in high school, graduated, and was basically a working professional before any of us could drink legally.
He’s since lived all over the world doing vital work in IT security for all manner of banks, insurance companies, and other entities we rely on as part of our global society. It’s a remarkable journey, and one he shares in some detail throughout our hour chat.
I went into this episode not having a real agenda of what we’re going to talk about. From having sparred with Dustin online for years, the lack of prep didn’t really worry me. And my faith paid off because this chat is tremendous.
We spend time talking about the emotional connection between perceived risk and real risk. We discuss how he came to forgive his father for leaving when he was a kid to become a born again Christian. We talk about the benefits and limits of capitalism, and why he ascribes to the social democrat political ideology. There’s a lot here. It’s never dull, it’s got plenty of laughs, and I think you’ll walk away learning something. I certainly did.