The only reason you're aware of Patrick and not any other one of the thousands of entrepreneurs is because he engages with the community and promotes himself. patio11 has become a brand on this site- people say things like "oh, that's a patio11 comment" or "I wonder what patio11 would say about this".
I'm not trying to take anything away from what Patrick has accomplished- I'm just saying that maybe, just maybe, he's not as worthy of your adoring blog posts as you think.
Hmm. I don't have a dog in this hunt, but it sounds kind of like saying...
The only reason you think the space shuttle is cool is because it's a plane that flies in space.
The only reason you think a swimming pool is fun is because it's a huge bathtub where a bunch of people can swim.
The only reason you think airplanes are cool is because they let people fly through the air and cross distances in a short amount of time.
I mean, all of that doesn't lack unique value and power, you know?
I'm not attacking Patrick at all! I think Patrick is a great guy! I think Patrick works very hard at what he does, which includes engaging with the community and branding himself in a certain way, and he deserves all of the respect this community gives him.
From a personal branding perspective, it's interesting to see someone rise from obscurity to pg-like levels of fandom simply through hard work and providing value. It's great as a case study/learning experience.
Just because Patrick isn't the only one to do this doesn't make his accomplishments any less worthwhile. And most of those others don't share their knowledge on HN.
Here's a thought experiment- How much money would you pay, tomorrow, for patio11 to announce that all of his posts on his blog and on HN have actually been ghostwritten by CapitalistCartr. What if he said the patio11 profile was actually a sockpuppet account run by CapitalistCartr, and all of the respect he has built up through his hard work and posts would now belong to you?
How much would that be worth to you? $1,000?$5,000?$10,000? I bet that intangible, what accountants call goodwill, is actually worth quite a bit.