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I sold my startup a few months ago for enough cash that I never have to work or worry about money again. http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=341565

I went to the most peaceful spot I could find, and relaxed. I did nothing. http://www.vimeo.com/1292105

After only a couple days, it was never more clear that I was never doing anything for the money anyway, and the reason I'm always working, driving, pushing, learning, growing, and building companies is NOT about the future-goal but increasing the quality of my present moment. It's exciting! It's fun!

So, I started working again. Not because I have to, but beacuse I want to. It makes my brain spark in a way that not-working doesn't.

So here I am again, programming, excited about some new thing I'm working on, exactly the same as before I sold the company. I didn't buy anything because there's nothing I want. My debts were already paid off.

Philip Greenspun's article really does describe it best. http://philip.greenspun.com/materialism/early-retirement/

So does Felix Dennis' book How to Get Rich. http://www.amazon.com/dp/1591842050

Feel free to contact me directly if you have any specific questions you don't feel comfortable posting on the board here. http://sivers.org

- Derek

Now that you have the money, maybe you should try some coffee.


What I would really like to know is how much money it takes to get to that point.

$5 million isn't enough according to a very interesting New York Times article: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/05/technology/05rich.html

So how much does it typically take for someone in Silicon Valley to "solve the money problem"?

$5m invested invested fairly conservatively can throw off 8%, or $400k / year. I'm sorry, but if you can't live on $33k / month, even in the Bay Area, you've got problems.

A couple of those people in the article have homes worth over $1m that they own free and clear while they work 70 hours a week to make ends meet. Not smart. Mortgage the house to 70-80% (rates are dirt cheap right now) and invest the cash at the aforementioned 8%, which adds $100k / year to your bottom line, plus the tax benefits.

Please link to a single "conservative" investment with an 8% yield.

Right now you can get 6% in the UK on a no-frills deposit account at Tesco (hmm, thought they were a supermarket) but that'll be taxed so it's more like 4% real. Which is barely keeping pace with (real, not official) inflation.

The base interest rate in the UK is at a 57 year low at the moment, so UK banks might not be the best place to store $5 million ;)

True, but banks lend to each other at LIBOR which has remained stubbornly high. Only a few weeks ago some were offering 8% 1-year deposit accounts to get any cash they could get their hands on.

Until this latest hiccup, my simple IRA was making 10-11% a year without me even thinking about it. Also with 5 mil, or 22 mil the types of investments available to you are not 'regular' or something you average hacker has access to.

BTW that NYTimes article you cite is boom-town trash. Published in 2007, just before things started going in the shitter. The mentality of the past 5 years was "more, more more" and it's almost sickening to read this account of how greedy these millionaires are/were.

They all chose to live in Silicon Valley and continued to aspire to be hundred-millionares instead of enjoying what they have. Some people don't deserve their wealth.

They all chose to live in Silicon Valley and continued to aspire to be hundred-millionares instead of enjoying what they have. Some people don't deserve their wealth.

So you're saying it's bad if rich people continue to build things instead of switching to being mere consumers?

I completely understand what you're saying, and I hope to always pursue my passions and the things that I care about, but I agree with the sentiment of the person you're responding to. The people in the article do not sound like they're happy and building things because they love to or because they want to make a difference. They all sound stressed and miserable because they're continually comparing their standard of living to the next guy, who is a little bit higher. Perhaps it's just the tone of the article, but they all sounded out of touch and ungrateful.

More importantly, I disagree that building great companies is not enjoying what they have.

If you had followed Derek's link you would have found out he sold CD Baby for $22 million :)

I completely agree with you. If you're not having fun, just fold-up shop and find something that does allow you to have fun.

I am a firm believer that you can make money from anything you have a passion in. Chase that.

Dude and I am being serious, do you have a blog?

One more subscriber

Although it's a nice success story, you are marginalizing the majority of Americans and, in fact, the majority of people in the tech world, that has to spend a considerable amount of time and effort just to make ends meet. Paying your way through college and dealing with the current lack of jobs means that I can't necessarily just work on what I love and I have to make concessions. It has nothing to do with whether I want to contribute something of worth to society while doing something I love. Its about the hope of being able to do those things without having to wonder whether I'll make it to the end of the month.

How is he "marginalizing" anybody? He built a business doing something that he loved, it succeeded (<-- probably not a coincidence), and now he wants to do it again. Do you think it was handed to him on a stick? I don't. I bet he had to fight like hell.

Unless I'm misreading you, you appear to be saying "that guy had options I don't have". In my opinion, that's the kind of mentality that causes a person to "marginalize" himself.

I totally agree. Like I can spend all my time working on a startup when I work 20hours in a week as an intern and do a very high load class schedule.

I keep telling myself someday...

Two pieces of unsolicited advice:

1. You make your own choices, and there's always tradeoffs. It sounds like you've decided that a busy internship and a high load class schedule are more important to you than working on a startup. Own that decision...you'll own the consequences. If you don't feel it's the right path, change it.

2. Be careful about telling yourself someday...it can easily turn into never. Not saying there's not better times for some things than others, but lean towards taking messy plunges rather than waiting for the stars to align.

I agree. Right out of school I took the plunge and it didn't work out. Now I have a decent job and a comfortable life. I'm happy to do that for a while and then take another plunge when the Next Big Thing comes along. After all, the first one didn't kill me, why would the second?

I don't get it. It sounds as if somebody is forcing you to do an internship and go to class. Who is it? Who are you complaining to?

Where you are right now, is nothing more than your _own_ decisions and responses to the environment around you.

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