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Don't put your career in stealth mode (zohrob.com)
16 points by dzohrob on Feb 17, 2012 | hide | past | favorite | 7 comments

This advice is right on the money. I've spent decades developing at a number of startups (including playing the founder at some), but I have preferred to keep a low profile. As a result I believe it has limited my opportunities.

That changed for me six months ago. I started a blog and have been speaking at conferences. All of the sudden I'm a hot commodity. Its a tough time to be introverted with your career.

Glad to hear it rings true for you as well. I'm not speaking at conferences yet, but my experiences have been overwhelmingly positive.

There's a period of time which is beneficial. It's not about being secretive, it's about putting your head down and getting things done without interruption.

Five years is (in virtually any case) way longer than that should be. But three months? Great! Even a year, if you're really on to something. But after that you need viable interaction with your customers/users/prospects

I agree that time for heads-down coding is very important. My point was more about one's overall career -- that not contributing publicly to the industry can be detrimental.

Even if it takes a long time for your stealthy startup to launch, it can be beneficial to write about your experiences and/or open-source a cool project.

I'm the same way but I prefer to be humble until I actually accomplished something worthwhile.

I agree and do not keep a blog, haven't updated my facebook in years, and do not use twitter in this way.

It is an issue of humble-ness for me as well. I'd rather be queried for data then have the thought/feeling I am forcing it on someone who doesn't want it.

I think this, and other things read here on HN have got me to accept the fact I need to follow suite.

Am I correct in saying that another potential benefit of this is that keeping the status of a project public makes it more difficult for the creator to ignore/procrastinate/quit the project?

I agree with both of you; it feels fundamentally egocentric to broadcast one's thoughts on the web. But it's been an interesting exercise for me on many levels.

The feedback you get from friends and strangers can be valuable - like this discussion. And clear writing == clear thinking. I find that in the process of writing I edit and re-edit my thoughts and sometimes change my mind. That's helpful in and of itself.

As for public-ness making it difficult to quit -- many people (PG included) have written about this [1]. My goal in making my work public is not to benefit from this social pressure, though that would be a nice side-effect.

I want to document my hard work, and ensure that the good parts of what I work on don't die.

[1] http://www.paulgraham.com/die.html

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