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
$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"?
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.
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 am a firm believer that you can make money from anything you have a passion in. Chase that.
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 keep telling myself someday...
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.