You have a private jet because you worked 18 hours a day 7 days a week for 10 years? Sacrificed evening meals with your partner and kids, missed spending time with your parents before they got old, and generally only commit to "quality time" (which is largely bullshit) for self and social care? Nah thanks pal.
You're driving that Ferrari because you make something that makes money, you pay people a decent wage and give them good working conditions to take it all off your plate so you only spend a few hours a week doing the bits you enjoy? That's the sizzle right there.
Telling Gary Vee to put a cake in it would be a good start.
So, the business proverbs they live by both give them hope and amplify their anxiety that their opportunity is slipping away with each day that they're not hustling.
Speaking as someone who just does what he enjoys doing and ended up with a marginally successful business as a result, I have to say that I genuinely don't get this mindset.
Then again I don't "hustle" either. I (and my employees) just write code that solves problems and creates value for bigger businesses and they pay me good money for it.
I find this phrase trite and full of significance at the same time.
Much of existentialism is an investigation of anguish — the permanent, low-lying anxiety of existing and trying to find meaning in life. This anxiety comes from, and is the process of, realizing one's potential.
Thus, anyone who realizes that their current station in life is not the top of their potential is bound to not be happy with where they're at.
This is not just in business and money. You can be anxious about not having enough fulfilling friendships or spending meaningful time with your children, or any other thing you value highly. Many people give up on stressful business enterprises, but move their anxiety towards other targets — family life, politics, future events, or specific interests.
Conversely, only those who do not realize the gap between their potential and their current situation will be satisfied. The more qualified and diligent you are, the more likely you are to be aware that you're not your best yet.
It takes active work ("hustle" of sorts) to be diligent and unworrying: meditation, therapy, etc.
Gary Vee is a successful businessman. He built upon an existing business and made it more successful, that's a great accomplishment. I wish I had 10% of his success. But he's not a guru, he is nowhere near elite. Plenty of people have done more impressive things than him but the memes around him being some sort of guru on being an entrepreneur are far more outsized than his actual success. But the way his followers treat him is completely disproportional to what his actual successes are.
Obviously on the flip side there are the other snake-oil salesmen selling you "work from a beach doing nothing" crap, but there's definitely a middle point of highlighting the success of people who did the minimum they possibly could to succeed.
"Are you doing something you enjoy to do? Happiness and fulfillment has to become a much bigger part of the conversation than financial upside. I'm always very hurt when people think that I'm pushing hustle and too much work."
He has no understanding of the notion that working hard is supposed to compound your productivity not always be the way you go about life...
"Nice guy? I don't give a shit. Good father? Fuck you! Go home and play with your kids."
Hustle porn comes from the idea that if you take your eyes off the prize, someone who wants it more than you is going to work harder for it, come up and take it from you.
After a lifetime of Catholic schooling, the appeal to me seems deeply rooted in something about being crucified. Which doesn't really seem enjoyable, but YMMV.
(EDIT: I should emphasize why it's so interesting to me because people often overwork with the justification for life enrichment, but the actual act of overworking reduces space/time for life enrichment!
It doesn't matter how nice a system of fluid economics the Wealth of Nations was on paper. The problem is that people will exploit them. And exploitation of rules leads to exploitation of people.
And where are we now? https://www.cbsnews.com/news/middle-class-americans-increasi...
"In 2014, the middle 60 percent of Americans accounted for 46.8 percent of federal aid offered to people who qualify for such help, Brookings found."
Any one of us can 'fall', and not able to be self-sufficient to 'pull up by ones bootstraps'.
We've given capitalism a good 300 year run. And we know its pathologies. Communism isn't necessarily the best, but it provides a converse theory to start the discussion.
Well, compared to capitalism its much more utopistic - I mean how far it is from reality of human nature and how much you should expect from people in the system.
As history shows us numerous times, it really doesn't matter how good things look on the paper or during academic discussions. The reality is, evil, messed up, unbalanced, sociopathic etc. folks are part of society. I don't mean in insane asylums, I mean in schools, hospitals, corporations, hackernews, everywhere. And somehow, for number of reasons, when numerous factors combine these people rise to power although they shouldn't. Every communism I am aware of ended up as dictatorship very quickly. In real capitalism, they come and go much more quickly and the impact is smoothed out over time.
This is the breaking point for me where the system is obviously worse - in communism, those dictators always ended up as net loss for citizens and mankind. And you gotta be brutal if you want to force millions into situations they wouldn't choose themselves. There are other obvious issues - no private ownership means nobody will work hard to maintain/enhance/create if at the end benefits are marginal at best. Better enjoy that beer.
And over time, these things compound and the result is always the same. Capitalism wins through sheer efficiency and overall upper hand. When comparing similar starting systems, its pretty clear which is more beneficial.
But yeah, it looks cool and very nice on the paper, or in TV like Star Trek.
Add protections so that no person goes hungry, homeless, or without medical attention and you've almost got an Utopia.
The problem with a Capitalist Utopia is not in the ideas or in the policies, it lies with the simple fact that humans are the ones carrying those policies out. There's a good quote that sums it up: "power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely." Some group of people will be in charge, and that group of people will exploit the rest. Capitalism works great for small groups, but breaks down at the population level.
Works both ways, so you are not actually proving anything with your statement except showing your ideological blind spot.
I'm not arguing for unbridled capitalism, nor am I arguing against socialist policies and checks against the formation of oligarchies. I'm arguing that state control of the economy, such as that which comes about when your population is too spread out and large to make decisions in an efficient manner, is inherently flawed and unsustainable.
And countries like the USSR were not only dictatorships, but virulent military dictatorships.
Understatement of the century. Tens of millions of people have paid with their lives to learn this lesson.
>> it provides a converse theory to start the discussion
As someone who grew up in the USSR, I suggest that maybe you should spend half a year in Venezuela, with Venezuelan amounts of money for your living expenses, and then suggest whether it's a good path to take for this country.
Sure, over the long term markets change, but day to day most competition approaches zero sum. Americans are only going to pay for and consume so much food each year. That may move around a little, but mostly it’s a question of competition between food producers not expanding the market.
Entertainment competes for only so much free time and disposable income etc. Now as productivity increases people may have more disposable income, but Disney can’t really influence how much money people have.
"Alienation of the worker from other workers"
Now, look at the 'gig economy'. Instead of grousing about shitty bosses, these companies pit 'employee' against each other. The gig economy companies are setting up zero sum style games: There's only X work per day, and each person claws for their slice of it against others.
Life was pretty miserable back then, if you ask me.
Even in capitalist societies there are still places like that, with free healthcare, basic necessities available for everyone, guaranteed roof over your head, and even full employment. These are called prisons.
I've seen this quote elsewhere, and the spurious correlation bothers me. That prisons supply inmates with basic necessities does not make systems that supply members with basic necessities akin to prisons.
In practice, many of them may operate with restrictions to freedom, but so does employment in most fields under capitalism. Even business ownership is a significant restriction of freedom if you cannot delegate work (i.e. you cannot afford to hire), liquidate assets, or stay free from mounting debt.
Kind of important.
free healthcare, basic necessities available for everyone, guaranteed roof over your head, and even full employment
Prisons are places where rape, neglect, and violence are the norm.
Being pithy reduces whatever point you had into dust.
Additionally, in the USSR we perhaps had less rape and violence in peacetime (our prison guards were professional and order was enforced), but oh boy, we knew a thing or two about neglect.
Serves them right for not giving up every single ounce of grain they produced to the government.
Yes they do in all western societies apart from US
Americans are quite welcome in Europe, by the way. For some reason, however, the majority of people prefers to move in other direction.
"Communism" ala USSR, North Korea, etc just moved the problem to a strictly worse area, and something you could not get away with. At least in capitalism, there are better and worse 'masters'.
If the "modern socialist" types gained tons of traction tomorrow and became mainstream within the democratic party people like Feinstein and other authoritarians won't stop pushing regressive authoritarian policy. They'd just do it in a way that's sculpted to line up with the (newly) popular "socialist" sentiment. So the end result would be pretty darn Stalinist IMO.
So yes, you're right that current socialists are generally not in favor of secret police and shipping undesirables to the gulag but you're also wrong because if socialism becomes popular it will include all the totalitarians on that side of the isle who do want secret police and gulags.
As regrettable as it may be I don't see any path for going from the status quo to something more socialist without the current crop of totalitarian jerks in the ruling class turning it into a 1984 dystopia (the technical, procedural and much of the precedent for said dystopia already exists) along the way.
I don't believe that currently ostracized strains/ideas/people will somehow inherently come to power just because democratic socialist ideas become mainstream. Democratic minded socialist are just as inoculated against authoritarianism as liberals. These people were persecuted and killed by ML/Stalinist authoritarians too.
I hope that "anyone who believes in capitalism is therefore right wing" is not a mainstream European perspective. You can have a pretty darn socialist government without seizing the means of production.
>I don't believe that currently ostracized strains/ideas/people will somehow inherently come to power just because democratic socialist ideas become mainstream.
The fact of the matter is that these totalitarian beliefs are not nearly ostracized enough for that statement to be anywhere close to reasonable.
On one side of the isle it's considered perfectly reasonable to violate all sorts of rights as a hurdle to buying the tools of self defense. On the other side of the isle it's the same thing but for abortion. This is but one example. These kinds of people won't just find a way to use the popular movement of the day to push their beliefs.
Sure they might make things more socialist if that's what the people demand but don't think they won't also work on their totalitarian pet project at the same time.
Or "schools". Or "military bases." But you do you, I guess.
School students are very limited in rights, indeed. Their welfare depends on welfare of their parents. But they can hope to become free adults one day; no such hope for citizens of socialist countries.
The US may draw you in to that culture, but plenty of people escape it, and plenty of people in it can yet get out of it with reasonable effort. Marxism created cultures where it is a crime to escape that culture.
Ah, the good old "noncentral fallacy" .
Buying bigger TVs every year and disposing of them in landfills (and sacrificing your quality of life to afford it) seems a bit more toxic than "being smug on the internet."
Plus, isn't the remark itself exactly what it accuses others of... smug?
A) The people you mention were essentially post scarcity long before they were household names.
B) They had substantially more agency in their work than mid and low level workers.
C) No one in their work life is akin to a “boss.” They have customers, advisors, peers, employees, investors, etc - no bosses.
I think arguing that it’s insane to work 80 hour weeks as a dead end test engineer at a large stagnant company is a straw man. Most people have a tenable goal in mind.
And at the end of it I don’t see the majority of them being fat alcoholics.
The early days of ID software. They worked their day jobs and then worked nights/weekends to create their own games.
The early days of eBay when Pierre Omidyar was up all night fixing the site as it crashed.
People at Netscape sleeping under their desks so they didn't waste time driving to/from work.
But it goes far beyond that. With limited free time people cannot develop political consciousness and drive social change.
There are historical examples: most dictatorships go/went very far to keep people busy and preserve the status quo.
Universities, on the other hand, has been often driving social change given that students usually have more free time and freedom to organize their time.
> I begin with a simple-sounding question: at what point does a day’s work truly end? Whilst our jobs might contractually oblige us to work a certain amount of hours per day, it is clear that we do not simply step out of our workplaces and into a world of freedom. This was brought to light by Theodor Adorno in a short but poignant essay from the 1970s called ‘Free Time’. Adorno questioned the extent to which workers are truly autonomous in their time outside work, arguing that the covert aim of non-work time is simply to prepare people for the recommencement of work: free-time is not free at all, but a mere ‘continuation of the forms of profit-oriented social life’. This is because it involves activities which often have a similar quality to work (looking at screens, doing chores), but also because more alienating or exhausting forms of work produce a powerful need for recuperation. By draining people’s physical and mental energies, work that is alienating ensures that much of the worker’s non-work time is spent winding down, retreating to escapist forms of entertainment, or consuming treats which compensate for the day’s travails.
 Found a link suggesting that video game use is correlated with unemployment or working fewer hours. It's not clear whether those individuals are using it to fill time or are dropping out of the labor force to pursue more of these types of leisure activities.
> They are not leaving home; in 2015 more than 50% lived with a parent or close relative. Neither are they getting married. What they are doing, Hurst reckons, is playing video games. As the hours young men spent in work dropped in the 2000s, hours spent in leisure activities rose nearly one-for-one. Of the rise in leisure time, 75% was accounted for by video games. It looks as though some small but meaningful share of the young-adult population is delaying employment or cutting back hours in order to spend more time with their video game of choice.
> “You have this culture of posturing, and this culture that glorifies the most absurd things and ignores things like self-care, and ignores things like therapy, and ignores things like actually taking care of yourself as a physical being for the sake of work at all costs. It’s a toxic problem,” said Mr. Ohanian.
So they're all like each other in that they are all unique individuals, like the lads in Dead Poets Society!
I just don't buy into it anymore. Management where I work attempts to pressurize people and I just laugh. Yes, the "hustle" culture is right--so your boss's boss's boss can make $20M last year while you have to cut coupons.
yep, that's what happens when incentives are extremely mis-aligned. you know very well that you probably won't get paid more if you're more productive. and management knows that they'll always get paid more if you're more productive.
but they still refuse to bridge the gap and make it so you get paid more if you are more productive because it would mean a smaller payout for themselves in the short term.
of course, this severely limits their ability to earn in the long term due to the massive gap between potential productivity (with genuine incentivization by sharing of revenues earned by additional productivity) and the actual productivity of their employees, but i haven't met a single C-suite person who understands the concept.
I can't help but think this is just some PR for Alex. Maybe someone can prove me wrong?
For one thing, it doesn't work. If you crunch for more than a couple of weeks in a row, you wind up being less productive per week than if you were sticking to 40 hours. There's loads of data demonstrating this.
Maybe there's a tiny number of mutants who can work 80 hours a week for years on end and still be productive. But that's not something the average human being is physiologically capable of. For most people, trying to emulate those outliers is a cargo cult.
 - https://avc.com/2016/08/understanding-vcs/
He's just choosing not to head for those avenues of founders.
People treat the "crunch" as if it's an epic accomplishment of world shaking importance to write a slightly better Android food delivery app, or slightly optimize video ad delivery.
I have worked on networking and IT projects in immediate post-disaster relief environments, and in active combat zones, where it might be justifiable to work 12 hours a day, 6 days a week.
But it's just laughable that some corporation expects people to do that for something which is frivolous. Look at the recent news article about the abuse of their staff involved in the development of the recent Anthem video game...
I was proud to work that hard partly because I felt no one else would do the work if I didn't, and partly because I expected I was building equity towards an early retirement where I wouldn't have to work so hard. I wound up expending my health and enriching others instead.
At least I enjoyed the work as I was doing it; I can't imagine how horrible it'd be to look back on 10, 20 years spent doing something you hate and realize that you didn't even get paid.
Employers and employees both need to learn about sustainable pace. Doing 60+ work weeks will mean nothing if you end up burned out and unable to do anything at all after a few months.
He and his VC partner are both YC-insiders. I don’t necessarily follow his tweets as much as his partner’s but his partner tweets are what I’d call classical hustle porn tweets that he spews all the time. And YC is almost certainly the epi-center of hustle porn.
Those that are super impressive and truly accomplished are the ones that have successful careers but also have actual lives with families and a real life. Doing both well and not stressing out is a true accomplishment worth celebrating and promoting.
If your going to hustle, do it young when you don't have responsibility. Don't be the dude with a kid missing dinners and school plays. But if I'm young and want to grind to build something I'm passionate about then I don't think that is so wrong or toxic-- just don't fucking post about it on social media.
There really isn't a clear advantage here either since no one is achieving 100% efficiency like that week after week. 
I'm not advocating for that lifestyle at all, but there is something to be said for just having more time with code. You obviously need to have an endgame plan, as staying at one company often doesn't scale your career, but if that 2nd year dev is able to get a prime spot because of his extra "year" of experience, and repeat a few times... There is money to be made.
(1) You're getting a decent base + health insurance
(2) The equity is in proportion to the sacrifice (this can be difficult to quantify; but in any case not a microscopic share of the pie); and
(3) You actually have some say in (and responsibility over) the outcomes.
(4) And of course you aren't throwing anyone under the bus in your family or personal life.
On of the reasons our industry is so toxic is that you're expected to be "always on" even though there's not even a pretense of (2) or (3) being met -- and quite often the numbers for condition (1) are sketchy, or far worse.
that is the increase of unit of work per staff head.
Having staff work hard, not smart lowers productivity, and therefore profit.
For example uber:
IF they were a company capable of making a profit, it is because currently they have a virtually staff free monitoring and dispatch system (that is, no branch offices, no radio dispatcher, no mechanics etc.)
However thats only a small part of thier overheads. The vast majority comes from paying their drivers. Adding more drivers adds cost linearly.
However if they were to somehow manage to perfect driverless cars, their productivity would smash through the roof, as they can replace linear cost increases with an upfront capital cost (ie, buy loads of self driving cars instead of paying a per mile cost.)
If you are working your staff 996, not only are they going to burn out, they are going to be inefficient. There are legions of studies that date back to the early 1900s that prove this. In china there is an abundance of staff, so one does not need to worry, as if you burn out 35% a year, they can always be replaced, cheaply.
but you can't afford to do that if you have a limited talent pool.
He leans a lot on this old german book called "Leisure: The Basis of Culture", and asks the question "Why do we work?" His answer is that work should be a means to an end, and that end is to be able to lead a life where we engage fully with love, art, philosophy, and spirituality. This seems to me to be a bit too tightly defined, but definitely made me think more intentionally about what it is I'm living for.
Ted Talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F7UonZl-Gis
If the person on top works long hours, they pressure their underlings to work long hours in a whole bunch of different ways (https://codewithoutrules.com/2017/06/21/why-company-want-lon...).
See also JWZ on VCs: https://web.archive.org/web/20190425140352/https://www.jwz.o...
(Updated with archive.org link)
Alexis Ohanian speaks out against toxicity of ‘hustle porn’ that glorifies ‘most absurd things’
Alexis Ohanian, venture investor and husband of tennis superstar Serena Williams, loves getting asked how he balances family life and his career as managing partner of Initialized Capital.
He and Ms. Williams became first-time parents in 2017, and in the months that followed, Mr. Ohanian frequently spoke out about why it was so important for him to take time away from the Bay Area firm he co-founded to bond with their daughter.
Parental leave wasn’t only a fun way to spend 16 weeks with their newborn Alexis Olympia Jr., he said at The Wall Street Journal’s Future of Everything Festival on Tuesday, but it was also a reminder of why work should never be the only metric for measuring success.
“I’ve spoken out quite a bit about things like ‘hustle porn,’ and this ceremony of showing off on social [media] about how hard you’re working,” said Mr. Ohanian, who previously co-founded online discussion forum Reddit. “Y’all see it on Instagram and you certainly see it in the startup community, and it becomes really toxic.”
Business men in his position are rarely asked about juggling the requirements of their roles outside of work, like in their family, he said, and that contributes to unrealistic expectations that a job can reflect the entirety of anyone’s identity as a human being.
“All of us who decide to start a company, we’re kind of broken as people,” because founders are often singularly-focused on the success of their venture, said Mr. Ohanian. Even with great mentors and investors supporting their vision, entrepreneurs tend to put a great deal of pressure on themselves to work harder than anyone else to achieve success and profitability. That psychological pressure is compounded by what he and others refer to as “hustle culture.”
“You have this culture of posturing, and this culture that glorifies the most absurd things and ignores things like self-care, and ignores things like therapy, and ignores things like actually taking care of yourself as a physical being for the sake of work at all costs. It’s a toxic problem,” said Mr. Ohanian.
This issue isn’t limited to technology companies, he added, noting that his acquaintances in finance and other industries also promote an unhealthy attitude that encourages 12-hour work days and few breaks.
“Social media has made it possible to weaponize it to the point where, if [bragging about your difficult workweek] gets hearts, you’re incentivized to keep pushing” the limits.
(e.g. https://www.wsj.com/articles/always-on-work-culture-creating... )
The FAQ ( https://news.ycombinator.com/newsfaq.html ) states clearly that paywalls are ok.
No matter how much we hate them, apparently.
That assumption is correct.
Why? I would probably haven't found this article if not on HN.
If the answer is "hustle", then you ought to take responsibility rather than crying about it.