"Right now" doesn't and will never matter. "Right now" is incompetence, lazyness, lack of awareness, comfort, and politics all rolled into one. That's the definition of "right now." It is a horrible, horrible measure of what can or should be achieved.
I don't think Paul intended this to be a ground-breaking article. I doubht he's saying that those specific examples lead him to a certain process with a certain guaranteed successful result. In other words, he's not saying because a=b, and b=c, a=c. In that case, if you can disprove the examples, Paul's theories don't stand.
What I interpreted PG to say is that he has done things a certain way for a while, and has noticed correlation where people reject change time and time again, but that this is normal, and in fact, one of the steps in the process of innovation.
You need to 1) come up with a simple concept that benefits someone, especially yourself or someone you know who might care to look at it when it's ready (that you know you can do in a weekend even if it actually takes you a while) 2) promise to that person or anyone else besides you that you will release the software you promised 3) release the crappiest version you can that has the least features and is so unimpressive that it's stunning (esp. if you release before your deadline which gets you feedback sooner) 4) take criticism and make adjustments 5) come up with a system to make promises to do x by a certan date and a parallel system to make and measure forward progress towards any of the objectives 6) stick with it because people really love it when you've been so dedicated to a project 7) you're now an expert and have a lot of design and coding experience under your belt, as well as happy users who like that you're improving the app and listening to them.
Most people never get past step 1 or 2, even though at those steps you really don't have to do anything.
Oh, and step 8) you will learn what makes your body tick and become very efficient and feel like you're "improving exponentially" and 9) you will come up with ideas and insights that may make you sound insane, especially since you'll be so confident and focused you'll be blurting them out, but that 10) a year or two later will have been proven 100% true.
As a final word of product development advice, Levchin encouraged founders to think about the Bible’s seven deadly sins - especially greed, sloth, envy, pride and gluttony. These characteristics, he said, describe many of the primal motivations for users.