Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
The story of Timothy Dexter (wikipedia.org)
48 points by swalsh on Sept 4, 2012 | hide | past | favorite | 10 comments



>In the second edition Dexter added an extra page which consisted of 13 lines of punctuation marks. Dexter instructed readers to "peper and solt it as they plese".

...zero f*cks given.


My mom had this saying from her grandfather which was something like "While a smart guy still contemplates an opportunity, the simple one has already gone there and seized it". Oftentimes because he never thinks about the danger of his action, he just does.


I think my favorite part is the ASCII art from 1798: http://books.google.com/books?id=uboNAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA36#v=...

(Yes, ASCII wasn't around in 1798.)


My takeaway from this is that brains are superfluous in business and may even be a hindrance. Actually a bimodal distribution with Dexter on one end and Bezos on the other is more likely to be beneficial.


...And for him, timing was everything. That is my take away.


What a great story! I have no idea how this is relevant to HN but I found it hilarious.


It really is just a great story... but deep down I think there's some good business lessons here.

Luck matters, but deep down I think his luckiest break was having a great boat captain. The guy found profit in the most unlikeliest of places by improvising.


I'd love to read about his story, but I'd wager that he wasn't notable enough; it would be interesting to find his journal.

"August 17th, 1782. The idiot sent us to the West Indies with a boat-load of warming pans. It was only through my ingenuity and hustle that I was able to convince the locals that they would make excellent ladles - we actually managed to turn a profit! I can already imagine the smug look on Dexter's face when we tell him about this. I bet this will inspire him to send something even more idiotic next time, like wool mittens. Note to self, don't show him this journal lest he get any ideas."


Curious


what a LAD




Guidelines | FAQ | Lists | API | Security | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: