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I remember reading Paul's essays, pre YC. When he wrote the essay announcing it, I remember thinking, "This guy is crazy, all he's gonna get is a bunch of school projects." Sure enough, he did, and wrote about it. I felt vindicated by that, saying to myself, "I knew THAT was going nowhere." People like to be correct in predicting failure for others, for whatever reason.

After reddit, loopt, zenter, anywhere.fm, etc., however, I don't think I was completely accurate in my prediction....

People like to be correct in predicting failure for others, for whatever reason.

I know there are a lot of people like this, but there is also a perhaps equally-large number of people who feel the opposite way. Personally, I love to be proven wrong when I predict failure, unless I have some other reason for wanting someone to fail (they use unethical practices, they're my direct competition, etc.).

I think people like to be correct in predicting the failure of crazy-sounding ideas because they don't want to feel like they are missing out on something big. I know I predicted that Google was all hype when it was selling at $200/share and unloaded the few shares I had. I kick myself for it now obviously, and even though it made no financial difference to me whether it sunk to $25 or went up to $600 (since I no longer owned shares), I still couldn't help hoping it would tank so I would feel like I made the correct decision.

I think this is really why you don't have to worry about competitors. If your idea is good enough, everyone will think you are crazy/naive. If your idea is simply decent, you'll never pick it anyway (because it's not exciting enough to you) and it will end up getting done by some existing company. Either way whatever you actually choose to work on will be unique until it's proven, by which point no competitor is catching you anyway.

> so I would feel like I made the correct decision

It's not just about feeling. If Google had tanked, you would be more justified (in a statistical sense) to think that you're smart and to engage into more financial transaction.

The difference is that the negative folks are the most vocal, while the positive folks are trying arc instead of whining about their perception of Paul's behaviour.

For example, I was just over on programming.reddit.com. The majority of the comments on this essay are smearing Paul's character. If you went by that, everyone hates it.

Yet the essay has +115 points. So there are 115 people who liked the essay for each person who dislikes it. Where are their comments?

Maybe they vote because they want the story to stay on top a while, either to convince others (Ron Paul) or because they want to see the discussion. Reddit is like a reality show. You might vote for the candidate you liked best, but you might also vote for a troublemaker to ensure a good show.

I know what you mean, and I was happy to be wrong in this case.

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