May 2004 (This essay was originally published in Hackers & Painters.) If you wanted to get rich, how would you do it? I think your best bet would be to start or join a startup.
What Make A Person Successful Essay
We could bearany amount of nerdiness if someone was truly smart. Venture capitalists have a list of danger signs to watch out for. Startups offer anyone a way to be in a situation withmeasurement and leverage.
Users are the only real proof that youve created wealth. Even genuinelysmart people start to act this way there, so you have to makeallowances. Julianthought we ought to value the company at several million dollars.
If you do have toleave grad school, in the worst case it wont be for too long. So on average such a hacker must beable to do at least 80,000 worth of work per year for the company just to break even. Theynever had to bet the company on a bold decision.
The founders all learned to do every job in the company. For most ofhuman history it has not even been the most common. Start by picking a hard problem, andthen at every decision point, take the harder choice.
But i decided not to, because thats implicit in makingsomething customers want. If 3 million a year seemshigh, remember that were talking about the limit casethe case where you not only have zero leisure timebut indeed work so hard that you endanger your health. Theintermediate stuff-- the -- can be anything thatsrare and portable.
Ceos, stars, fund managers, and athletesall live with the sword hanging over their headsthe moment they start to suck, theyre out. But what people have now is oftenso bad that it doesnt take brilliance to do better. But getting bought is also an artin its own right, and one that we spent a lot of time tryingto master. When you get a couple million dollars from a vc firm, you tend tofeel rich. Whereas top management, likesalespeople, have to actually come up with the numbers.
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974 related questions
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What Make A Person Successful Essay
How to Start a Startup March 2005 (This essay is derived from a talk at the Harvard Computer Society.) You need three things to create a successful startup: to start with good people, to make something customers actually want, and to spend as little money as possible.
What Make A Person Successful Essay
So in theory you ought to try to make friends with as many smart people as you can in school,right? Well, no. When you work onmaking technology easier to use, youre riding that curve up instead of down. If you cant understand users, however, you should either learn howor find a co-founder who can.
What it means specifically depends on the job a salesperson whojust wont take no for an answer a hacker who will stay up till 400 am rather than go to bed leaving code with a bug in it a pr person who will cold-call reporters on their cellphones a graphic designer who feels physical pain when something is two millimeters out of place. Most of the greatest fortuneshave probably involved several of these. An example of a job with both measurement and leverage wouldbe lead actor in a movie.
Whereas if you solve a technical problem that a lot of people care about,you help everyone who uses your solution. But a more serious problem is that the companyhas no way of measuring the value of your work. When wealth is talked about in this context, it is oftendescribed as a pie.
So the deals take longer, dilute you more, and imposemore onerous conditions. The closer you can get to what they want,the more wealth you generate. If ibm had required an exclusive license, as they should have, microsoftwould still have signed the deal.
The most efficient way to reach vcs, especiallyif you only want them to know about you and dont want their money,is at the conferences that are occasionally organized for startups to present to them. An idea for a startup, however, is only a beginning. If you work your way down the forbes 400 making an x next to the name of each person with an mba, youll learn something importantabout business school.
Italy and the low countries,where there were no strong central governments. If hiring unnecessary people is expensive and slows you down, whydo nearly all companies do it? I think the main reason is thatpeople like the idea of having a lot of people working for them. In that respect the cold war teaches the same lesson asworld war ii and, for that matter, most wars in recent history. Believe it or not, under current us law, youre not even allowed to discriminate on the basis of intelligence. Id like to start working tentimes as hard, so will you please pay me ten times as much? Forone thing, the official fiction is that you are already working ashard as you can.
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