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I spent years, from about age 15 or 16 (circa 1995) when I first stumbled onto the Internet, through 22 or 23, thinking that ideas are what mattered the most.

I don't think that point can be emphasized enough: your idea is not a unique snowflake. It's the other factors that actually determine success. The idea is the absolute easiest part of anything worthwhile you'll ever build.

The mainstream media sells the notion of the magic idea, the overnight success, etc. I came of age in the initial era of the dotcom fantasy. It was very easy to be sold by the 24/7 press coverage in the mid to late '90s, that magic ideas were worth billions because of how fast bullshit companies were acquiring zillion dollar valuations. Of course you can count on one hand how many dotcom billionaires made it out alive from that era.

It took years, a few failures, and a lot of reading to correct the flawed assumptions I had taken on. I owe a lot to countless web authors, from the likes of Chris Dixon to Mark Cuban to things people like Andreessen and Horowitz have written, and so on and so forth. I think those guys most valuable contributions to other entrepreneurs is in what they write, not the money they invest - they'll have impacted radically more entrepreneurs with the writing.

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