Sometimes the things you create grow way beyond your capacity to handle and become soul crushing endeavors that bear little resemblance to the early years of adventure, fulfillment and satisfaction in serving others, and the wise thing to do would be to step aside and preserve your sanity and peace of mind.
My company failed in the back-wash of the "dot-bomb" (we were not strictly a dot-com play - but close enough that we got caught in the back-wash), and while I would have preferred IPOing (not really possible in early 2000) or M&A (actually, similar reasons), I got really DEPRESSED!. Now, I was just the founder, not the CEO, but the journey from garage to supremacy (if you even make it) is a ride, maaan!
I always found the garage loneliness that you find people lamenting on HackerNews to be a lot more bearable than 10 shareholders and 250 employees and (in our case) 20 global enterprise customers. I am certainly not sure that I have it in me to attempt again. Psychologically, I mean.
We have two kids and I do not regret one second what we have today, and one second what we used to have.
Equally superbe times in our lives, I wild not go back, and I wild not change what we did.
Speaking for myself, I know that I would hate to have my freedom taken away by having children. I also know that my sister, who has a four year old and a one year old, has been miserable and exhausted for much of the last four years.
I cannot accurately describe the joy that fatherhood brings me.... despite the reduced sleep and increased stress.
By a magnitude of 10x, Fatherhood has surpassed anything i have experienced prior.
As a not-yet-made-it startup guy it definitely feels like playing on "expert mode". But with a supportive partner and some careful life choices, it feels pretty good. It helps that my cofounder has a kid almost the same age as mine, and we've been going through this together.
If you could choose between a future where your happiness doubled but one of your loved ones died, or the unadjusted future, which would you prefer?
Which of these would you choose?
A. Have children and be less happy, more stressed, and have less money and less free time for your a ~25 year stretch somewhere between ages 20 and 60.
B. Don't have children, be less happy, poorer, much busier, and more stressed during those years, but potentially more happy in your old age.
Happiness is a kind of short term thing. Life has better things to offer in my view.
You'd really have to hate your loved ones for that first option to be viable.
Nature plays a big role in it: I really felt like having kids (which surprised me) and I sure will do everything I can to protect them, but my life is a constant fight with depression.
There is probably the opposite mechanism at play: having invested years of pain in them, you value your kids the more time passes.
I'm sure things will improve once they're 4-5 and they're a bit better behaved / we can start sleeping again / we can start having some time for ourselves as well.
Sort of the opposite story.
How that relates to Page (& Brin) ... I don't know.
Considering the relative secrecy that he is building these companies in, I'd guess he has other companies going as well.
One of my friends lives on the same block and said a little while ago that he never sees him any more (they aren’t friends so it’s a “see the neighbors” kind of thing, also not something authoritative).
Well-known people have used pseudonyms for ages to preserve their privacy (for instance, when staying in hotels) or sometimes to manipulate public opinion -- writing letters to the editor under various names and personalities was a favorite tactic of Ben Franklin, even to the newspapers he owned!
More recently, Mitt Romney's alt Twitter account "Pierre Delecto" was uncovered after he gave away too many clues: https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2019/10/mitt-romney-has-...
If that is correct, why would you give an answer?
My query should not imply any criticism - just that I don't understand. Could you explain to an (Sincerely, From: obvious problematic person, who does want to learn)
He is still Alphabet board member and employee. His interest has always been futurism and moon-shot projects.
I think Larry did not like anymore most of what he had to do in his role and created so much stress to him that his body ended up helping him to get out of that role.
From what I heard on some videos Larry and Sergey were still actively involved in the creation of new things in Google X etc. They are engineers and they love to build and create new ambitious things. But if you are high in the management of a big public company that is not your role anymore.
I think they hoped the creation of Alphabet would have given them the opportunity to go back to work on new products with an impact for good in the world instead of having to keep focussing on the dull and stressful management of Google itself.
But in the end they probably realized that it was not the case and they left.
I know they do angel investing. I guess that with their experience and money, it is more effective to help younger enterpronurs to make the world a better place.
Somewhere there's an archive of his old posts.
Shame to be sitting on something like that and not doing anything with it.
Not really. Especially not if you have Google at your disposal.
A personal website tends to serve as either self promotion or to voice your opinion. I don't think he needs promotion, so unless he wants to start blogging, it's only risk and timesink with no upsides.
Or if you don't own Google, you can just claim something related to the search term to hide what you want to hide: https://www.wired.co.uk/article/boris-johnson-model-google-n...
Like..is calling the shots at Facebook really that big a deal that Zuckerberg spends his life being dragged from one mess to another, put in front of Congress every other week, criticized across the political spectrum (which is an achievement in itself)? Does he really not want to take his $110B and do...literally whatever he wants in peace for the rest of his life? Or is it just that he cannot bring himself to trust anyone enough to hand over the reins of Facebook?
Honestly, Gates seems like a pretty good guy from interviews he’s given and he’s doing something good with his money.
So yes - Gates seems like a pretty good guy. And he'll have paid a lot of money to create that impression.
Zuckerberg doesn't seem to be running the usual PR operation - possibly because he's too young to be bothered, and possibly because he doesn't really care much.
Likewise Bezos. But you can be sure that if/when they turn to philanthropy, they'll consider the option of a similarly wholesome transformation and proceed if it seems likely to provide extra social leverage.
The alternative will be managed media invisibility, which is also an option at that level.
No, but it also doesn't somehow wipe away the actions he took to make that money.
He didn't just attack other businesses, he attacked open source, and would have destroyed it if he could have.
By all means, you can think whatever you like about the man. Gates has done some pretty slimy shit. Being nice now is nice, and I applaud him for it, but nobody is obligated to develop amnesia.
Further, there is no obligation to politely applaud the rich person picking and choosing who should benefit from their largesse. Nor in noticing the massive PR campaigns that go along with it.
He's buying what he wants with his money.
I’m not asking you to forget what he did as a business man. But people grow by integrating new information and changing their minds. And Gates seems to be progressing in the right direction.
But all of you anti-Gates people are hell bent on defining him by his actions as the head of Microsoft. And being cynical about his motivations.
I’m grateful that he’s changed his ways and is making a positive contribution to the world. He really does seem to try and understand the issues he wants to tackle and not just hire people to do it for him.
Herein lies our difference of opinion. I consider it a positive thing that he's changed and grown. But grateful? Wealth-worship is gross and I'm not his dependent.
Again, he's buying what he wants to buy with his money.
I suspect that Gates will have trouble shedding that reputation since those people will have a hard time distinguishing between his past and present behaviour.
As in, he was a good fella on the net?
I don't think he has to shed his reputation as a business man, if "being a business man" means maximising profits. He was great at that, and his activities were lawful, at least up to the point when he was judged to have acted in violation of anti-trust laws in trying to parlay one monopoly into another.
What he'd have to do to stem my disappointment in him as a leading fellow of the software development community of his day, is to acknowledge that after already earning his first 10 billion from DOS, Office and Windows, he actively worked to impede the progress of the internet, and hold back a generation of young non-millionaire developers, by "cutting off Netscape's air supply".
1. Earn a billion with brutal, unscrupulous business practices
2. Spend half of that charitably, keep the rest, and expect to be seen as a great philanthropist.
Suddenly his charitable works don't seem to offset his reputation so much.
Recently, he was attacked online by conspiracy theorists. This prompted an interesting response from him. Perhaps it has also caused some to look closer at how much "control" he can potentially exert on the media these days.
Once a nail has been hammered in place, even after removing it the hole in the wood is there to stay.
> According to a new Yahoo News/YouGov poll, 44 percent of Republicans believe that Bill Gates is plotting to use a mass COVID-19 vaccination campaign as a pretext to implant microchips in billions of people and monitor their movements — a widely debunked conspiracy theory with no basis in fact.
We CAN'T be unique...this happens a LOT!
If we had better basic education, presumably people would be able to understand how things work.
I have read that anxiety issues , as well as a personality spectrum called "schizotypy"  which in itself can be linked to severe anxiety issues at the heavier end of the spectrum,  is linked to the ability to believe conspiracy theories . My guess is that the wide spread of conspiracy theories related material (which COVID-19 has amplified to considerably) boils down to some combination of mental health and other social and/or economic anxieties, and the conspiracy theories really won't go away until some of these anxieties are addressed.
In other words, despite being shown any evidence you'd like, no matter how concrete about the incorrectness of their beliefs, they'll simply disregard said information, because to accept or even consider it would imply the possible disruption of specific political/religious beliefs that a great deal of emotional identification is invested in.
And lack of access to information isn't even an excuse for this in most cases: It applies frequently to people who live otherwise technologically connected lives, with easy access to a vast wealth of extraordinarily detailed knowledge about anything they don't understand in terms of evidence, theories and facts. Despite this, they just.... disregard it, and will even give MORE weight to the most absurdly unsubstantiated "alternative" ideas so long as they don't poke at that emotional investment I mentioned above.
Again, this is not simple ignorance, it's something much more deliberate and to call it anti-science is not at all unfair.
what is it? i couldnt get it from the comment... just curious
seems some memes get stuck in peoples heads and blocks all reasonable discussions?
I want the things you want to - and I am very very left leaning. And I strongly disagree with your "their media" statement. I think many media outlets are contributing to a widening gap between the left and the right, because sensationalism and stupid articles sell. A single example from yesterday: I just read an NPR story that 260 out of 500,000 Sturgis attendees have come down with Covid. And they're trying to pitch that this is... a lot?
Also not sure which article in particular you are referring to, but the one I found doesn't seem sensationalistic at all:
"'I think it's still a little early to really know how this is going to play out,' says Dr. Marcus Plescia, chief medical officer for the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials." — https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2020/0...
How do you win? In the end I felt like she was just being narcissistic, I couldn't be bothered continuing the discussion, because I knew it would just piss me off...
my guess is it provides an explanation for things, and for people who might not have some direction in their life, something like conspiracy theories provide some meaning (stop the evil conspiracy) + explanation (so thats why things are so screwed up)...
thats my guess anyways....
Agreed, like the fundamentals of philosophy, psychology, neuroscience, etc. Perhaps then we could rid the world of this widespread perception of clairvoyance (perception of knowing the thoughts of millions of other people, for example).
I think a huge fraction of society are used to living like a child -- we're used to being told what to do in every part of their lives. So we never learn to accept responsibility... for a business, or an investment, or the health/welfare of others, or for their jobs and livelihoods. We reject accountability.
I think most people believe they're powerless to control their lives, that they're helplessly propelled by giant forces far beyond their control, so their individual decisions and actions don't matter. Thus they don't need to know the facts or consider the consequences of their choices. The collective they belong to will make that decision for them. Their only decision is what sociopolitical gang they should join. They delegate all authority to the group's leaders to think for them after that.
Absolutely. I've long thought a modern version of rhetoric is perhaps the most important class to mandate in a democracy.
At least one full semester of a teacher trying to lie or convince you of things using common approaches, coupled with an analytical study of what they are and how they work.
> We need to gain better awareness that if we're responsible for making an important decision, but we can't be bothered to become informed before making that decision, bad things will happen to us
IMHO, democracy is predicated on the ratio of informed_voters : total_voters. That ratio has never been 1, but it feels like it used to be higher.
I think the next version of democracy is going to use a pre-test of objective facts (so loaded!) to weight votes.
>The claim emerged after a Reddit Q&A in which Gates mentioned foreseeing the use of “digital certificates” to show who has been tested for COVID-19 or who has recovered from the disease . Most of the iterations of this claim misleadingly refer to “quantum dot dye” technology, which was founded by the Gates Foundation. Kevin McHugh, one of the lead authors of the “quantum dot dye” research paper, confirmed to Reuters this technology is not a microchip or human implantable capsule. Instead, it is similar to a tattoo, which would help provide up-to-date patient vaccine records for professionals in places lacking medical records. 
It's also an own-goal on the part of the Gates Foundation. Any adult in the US should know better than to tap into "mark of the beast" hysteria; anything which smacks of Revelation is politically a non-starter.
I think the greater source of damage is squarely on WHO and CDC: they baldly lied about masks for almost two months, then turned around and made them mandatory.
That was incredibly reckless and stupid: I was furious about it at the time, and the consequents have played out exactly how I envisioned at the time.
Our authorities spectacularly blew their credibility, out in the open where everyone can see it. Now we need them to have that credibility back, but, it doesn't work that way.
Perhaps you're a young man.
Warranted or not, 90s Gates was the prototype for the asshole tech CEO. Only Larry Ellison came close, and that's saying something ...
In 1957, eight of his researchers (the "traitorous eight") had enough, so they left and founded Fairchild Semiconductor, (co)invented the integrated circuit, and essentially started Silicon Valley. Gordon Moore and Robert Noyce, two other members of the traitorous eight, went on to found Intel. If Shockley had been a nicer guy, Silicon Valley might not exist.
In an industry famed for unicorns and associated prescient hiring, Shockley still has a distinguished track record for picking some pretty respectable bets on young researchers and engineers.
He did identify some very talented individuals but apparently was constantly slipping into paranoia and eugenics theory.
The funny thing with condescending people is that they are so sure of their opinions, and usually as you did not, provide no argument to their cause.
The point is that any CEO or person in a competitive environement is going to be attacked for using aggressives practices at some point and winning.. but that's ultimately the definition of the game, especially in business.
I've read a great bit of Gates' life and never found anything really so unethical or unhuman. Seriously the guy sis not Assad. It was just business. And it's kilometers away from Uber practices and Apple having their smartphones built by children in China.
Disclaimer: note bunny ear quotes and like any 2nd hand information, there might be some stretched out truths attached to it.
So can brin/page. They own more than 50% of the voting rights of alphabet. Zuckerburg modeled facebook's IPO and voting share structure after Google's IPO and their share structure.
Here's a story from my first couple months at Google. When I joined, I worked on payments. We were about to launch a new credit card thing. I honestly don't remember what value this had to anyone, but it seemed like a big deal at the time. Anyway, one morning we all gathered into a conference room to hear "an update" on the project after a review with Larry Page -- we're doing a total rewrite on everything, because we were switching the network that processed the cards. Why? Because at the review, Larry made a face when told the name of the network that processed the cards. Note that nobody in this meeting was at the meeting with Larry Page. We were throwing away a partnership and thousands of hours of work because someone said someone else saw Larry make a face.
(We did switch networks. The new network was more popular, but with that popularity came so many restrictions that the product could no longer do what we originally intended. It failed. Fortunately, nobody cared, because who ever even asked for a credit card from Google anyway?)
My point is, do you want one random grimace to control the fate of an entire organization? Probably not. But that's how people treat authority figures. You have to do some serious work to get people to talk, rather than to react. So maybe he just opted out of that after seeing it play out over and over again.
TBH, if I made a pile, my interests would change dramatically. And running a successful company would not be nearly as validating.
I came to realise, that I'd rather be the fisherman. Which doesn't mean the other approach is wrong, so.
If had money saved up, at least he could buy food for him and his family.
Look at Jim Carrey and George W Bush for example. They're pretty much set with money, and now they can paint their hearts out.
That being said, I wish they had all stuck to their post presidential passions... minus the political fund raising.
Or the CEO of Goldman Sachs, a successful DJ who became a banker.
He was leading all-hands meetings by having the teams shout "Domination!" He's always been obsessed with Roman Emperors too, particularly Augustus (though as a Romanophile myself, I relate). Kara Swisher mentions this a lot. Even in his early days he was the "alpha nerd." Dude is obsessed with power and always has been. He explicitly cultivates this image of being above it all and just wanting to connect the world, but if you watch Facebook/Zuckerberg's actions they're always about expanding power. Similarly, Augustus PR was legendary enough to found a dynasty. He never called himself an Emperor, just the "first citizen", a citizen like everyone else, and he only was the "first" one to provide peace and stability to the people. He only acquires personal power at all costs for you. Also, Zuckerberg builds shadow profiles of everyone that ever browses a website that has a facebook 'Like' button on it because it and will never delete your data because he's creating a connected global utopia.
At this point, Facebook isn't even about Facebook. Facebook is a typical giant that acquires other companies. I would argue WhatsApp has more impact on the world than Facebook. Zuckerberg can't be proud of WhatsApp though, since he didn't build it.
To me, there is clearly no higher purpose here besides power.
In any political system other than Western democracy power is essential for physical and financial safety, if you are wealthy. Power, of course, can be attractive on its own, but in a Western democracy it can also be optional. In all other political systems it's absolutely mandatory - wealthy people without power quickly cease being wealthy.
I think once he’s no longer at the helm of one of the largest tech firms in the world, he’s lost a lot of leverage.
Not to say he isn’t still very influential, but he’s on the sidelines of business now. And being a leader in business means having a lot of power.
Some people only understand "power" in the sense of military or corporate decisions. (This is where Trump misses the big idea.) But imagine how powerful it is to be able to set the agenda, and have most of the world follow you and agree to commit resources in the direction you set.
I would say soft power generally beats hard power, due to being more efficient in terms of costs, creating more buy-in and generating less resistance.
Microsoft is largely responsible for introducing computers to everyday people. They championed a mission of “a computer on every desk and in every home” in a way no one else was. I have strong doubts that PCs as we know them today would be a thing without Microsoft’s influence. We should also not discount the timing of highly usable Windows and Microsoft software with the explosion of internet usage in the developed world.
In the 90s and early 2000s Windows/Intel introduced computers and the internet to the masses.
Edit: Microsoft’s portable and highly desirable software lead to computer hardware being a commodity and drastically lower prices. This, combined with the timing of WWW, ignited a revolution for which Facebook is just a subset of its impact.
But it is arguable that Facebook's ability to control/spread disinformation and propaganda in regards to political elections around the world is a different, but just as powerful impact.
“For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”
“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”
“I'm convinced that about half of what separates successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.”
“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.”
Many have the exact opposite advice: "Don't turn your passion into a career."
Some could say it's a sad way of thinking, but when you're making a good living and have kids to raise, gambling away your career to pursue a dream isn't necessarily selfish... yet it could be irresponsible. Taking the advice of a lucky billionaire at face value is risky.
Am I weird for rarely ever answering 'No' to that question? These days I mostly play computer games and still I'd answer 'Yes'.
It sounds deep, but it’s not.
MySpace Tom took his money and went off to do other things.
I mean if I got the chance of running a company of that size, in particular if I started it I wouldn't leave it voluntarily either. He's still in his 30s, what is he going to do with his time, play bridge?
I personally understand Zuckerberg or say Musk much more than Brin or Page. I couldn't retire when I'm barely 40 to sit on some yacht, I'd think I'd be wasting my life, money aside.
Gates still owns a lot of MSFT shares
No, it wouldn't.
When someone's pre-existing agenda starts showing up in arbitrary ways like this in every conceivably relevant thread, it becomes a moderation issue.
The point here is that there was no agreement about this... or even knowledge about the collection of data. There was unilateral action on the part of Google/ Facebook to secretly create data collection points all over our lives.
The person I replied to suggested we volunteered this information to Google. Which is almost entirely untrue. Most people Google and Facebook track have zero knowledge they are being tracked.
So I blame the people a bit, but I blame a media culture that didn't make it clear, and an educational system that prevented them from understanding what was happening.
I realize it's a bit more complicated than this, but I'm not fond of your take here.
With all the respect to Larry and Sergey, i'm sure they could have done very little to stop those forces, and if they've tried, some other company would have become "Google".
(We've detached this thread from https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=24376865).
I'm of the opinion that Notch has kind of gone off the deep end, which makes me a bit sad. I'm not sure that money brought him the happiness he rightly should have gotten.
Epstein was convicted in 2008 of procuring an underage girl for prostitution and of soliciting a prostitute. So, I don't think that anybody was surprised when it turned out he was still a pedophile a decade later.
Not sure about their beliefs. I suspect they just endorse the party most likely to give them a tax break. This may also explain why many are going against Trump - he's been telling the public they've been given a bad deal and he's spoken against some big pork behavior. Who knows what he might do. Biden OTOH seems business friendly enough.
This is the problem with the narrative on the internet today, anyone that is not collectivist, is not full on Socialist must be "Right wing"
The group you're referring to was part of the "Republican Party" which was created after republicanism was victorious in the united states after the revolution. I'm not intimately familiar with the iconography around that period, but I would speculate that they were drawing on the old symbols of radicalism when creating that name.
Is that problematic in and of itself?
Yet I couldn't clearly claim that he does on the basis of this, as it's just confusing to me, no sure whether that's his flavor of irony. Do you have some more evidence to prove that he believes these things? I had previously seen him as weird and provocative, but not definitely right-wing.
Apparently you're only allowed to have freedom of speech if it fits in the tech left narrative. Show me an example of a extremist left person being denied access to a company event, let alone the founder of the company? Seems downright hypocritical to me.