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Jeff said it best when he was asked the question at an event in Boston, "What is better, YC or TechStars?"

Jeff's answer: "You can teach a hacker business, but you can't teach a businessman how to hack".

'nuff said.




Ah yes...there's something magical about hackers that means they can learn business, but "businessmen" can never learn the mystical arts of hacking.

Give me a break.

Actually, rather than repeat myself, here's my comment from a couple weeks ago:

http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=515978


It's not so much that there's a difference in the types of people as in the types of knowledge. Business has a large overlap with common sense. At least, the kind of business you need to understand in a startup does. Whereas hacking is a pretty specialized skill. So a hacker who needs to do something business related faces a nice smooth learning curve, whereas a non-hacker business person who needs to get a technical problem solved faces a step function.


Magical hits it on the head, except not the way you think. Magical thinking is what you can't do and be a good hacker. Magical thinking won't stop you from being a good business person with good instincts for opportunities who understands the bottom line, or from being a great sales guy who can close faster than a bank at 4.

The subset of hackers who can learn "business" is greater than the subset of business people who can be hackers because the particular style of thinking needed to succeed as a hacker has a unique rigor and need for persistence, and is comparatively rare.

This is true for comparing any less common skill to a more common one. The subset of NFL quarterbacks who could be good programmers is surely proportionally greater than the subset of programmers who could be NFL quarterbacks.

It isn't all about arrogance (although I don't deny arrogance is a factor).


It's not arrogance when it is the truth.

If I could stay awake long enough, that MBA spiel is ELEMENTARY

PLEASE


Ah, so you have an MBA? Which you earned while sleeping through that simplistic spiel? Please talk about your experiences so I can develop a similar distaste for an oversimplistic overhyped major, or else stop talking about things you have no personal experience with.


(YAWN)

(YYAAAWWWWWWWNNNNNNNNNNNN)

Here is one you can understand:

Successfully represented myself in US Federal Court as a plaintiff in a civil rights case, and won! no legal training at all, just read a couple of books, went at it, won, no help, nothing, just me and a couple of books, oh, and I did most of this over the US Postal service, while locked up in a US immigration jail, with a barracks full of neanderthals around me whom I didn't get along with (but I held my own, no one fd with me), and neanderthals in uniforms on my case . . . want a docket number? 98-0711-CV-W-2-P Roman v. Conard, US District Court for the Western District of Missouri, Kansas City, Missouri . . . Law is at least a somewhat interesting topic that I can respect, it can at least be intellectually challenging (for some time anyway) at times . . . but MBA crap? PUUUHLLLLEEEEEZZZZZ PUHLEEZZ


The subset of hackers who can learn "business" is greater than the subset of business people who can be hackers

This is a common notion but after years of working in the software business I'm not convinced it is true at all. The successful biz guys I've known could easily learn some subset of programming. Most of the programmers I've known could not be a successful business person if their lives depended on it. YMMV.


Business is a broad arena, but if you were to narrow it down to "sales" I might agree with you.


The statement is an oversimplification that only makes sense when you throw a 25 year old hacker by a 25 year old businessman with novice levels of experience in their fields.


"Ah yes...there's something magical about hackers that means they can learn business, but "businessmen" can never learn the mystical arts of hacking."

YOU BET!

Sure, some MBA can click on menus or slap whatever together.

That's not hacking.


You sound like the type of person that does not belong on any start up team. You have to learn to get along with people (even businesspeople), especially because you will be working with them for 18 hours per day.


Yawn

yah MKAY

So I speak the truth, and that makes me a non "team player"

lol




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