Dustin seems like a smart guy, and the article makes sense and everything, but then my mouse casually tracks across that dot and it starts-a-throbbing, and I'm like "oh crap oh crap, what is this? do i want it?, omigod, I don't know, oh no, move fast before something happens!" and then I don't remember what the number was before and I'm not sure if I kudo'd or not, and my heart is racing, and I've lost a few hours off my lifespan...
And this is all before I realize it's a fucking counter on a webpage, and it doesn't matter whether I increment it or not.
I hate you auto-kudo, I hate you so much.
It's really all meaningless Internet points. The auto-voting karma button reminds me of that, and I now appreciate the digital "up yours!" every once in a while ;)
1) Social signaling. Others approve of the post, which factors into your own judgment heuristics when encountering it.
2) Upvotes and downvotes are the basis of vote-ranked message board systems like HN and Reddit, and they result in very interesting dynamics (whether or not these dynamics are optimal is another question altogether).
So no, I'd say internet karma points aren't exactly meaningless in certain contexts.
Life is so hard right now.
That post is just a rationalization.
"People feel like part of their soul by a CSS animation.. I think it’s kind of funny.", is no different than
"People feel like a part of their soul is extracted by a single eval statement... I think it's kind of funny"
Granted there are some requests that might be ignored with ease, like someone hating on something because of your opinion, but feelings of users should be appealed to.
The Kudo is either:
A) deliberate ploy to seem more interesting than it is
B) a badly designed +1 button
The fact that you hate it makes me love it, and I even can't explain why.
Like, for example, when I buy something, pull the sticker off, and it leaves a thick residue that won't come off. Or, when I'm in a car without any indication of which side the gas tank is on.
My significant other makes fun of me for this. "Who thought doing THIS was a good idea? Do they buy their own f*ing products?" I'll say. Meanwhile, he has a non-founder view of life, "Meh, it's like that because it's like that."
He's clearly more zen than I am.
BTW, there's a free course based off that book starting this fall: https://www.udacity.com/course/design101.
Here's to hoping it gets better!
(Now I'll have to check my car tomorrow morning to be sure I haven't just been ignoring it all this time.)
I'd rather all the manufacturers would just agree to a standard and put it one side.
(Imagine a gas station where most cars use the same entrance and have the tank on the same side. Half of the cars would need to do a U-Turn to use half of the tanks).
I use a service called Car2Go quite often which rents Smart cars exclusively. For some reason they decided not to include the little arrow.
(I've heard it's a good idea to shoot a video of the walkaround with your phone, but that seems OTT.)
My point being, what are photos or videos supposed to prove. If the car is damaged before you pick it up, and there's some reason that you are still taking it, then you should get the agency to sign something attesting to it.
Edit: I had to leave the office, go downstairs, get in my car and check. Whatddya know, a little arrow next to the gauge, you learn something every day.
Very easy: most American cars have the gas tank on the left, most Asian/European cars have it on the right.
Cause I'm pretty sure Hondas and Toyotas have gas on the left.
I absolutely hate it when they don't indicate which door on the fridge is a freezer. So annoying.
Seriously though, gas tank indicators make sense only in rental cars and most of them have aftermarket stickers that do just that.
What happens to the failures? Can they go back to work and fall back in line? Or are we going to have "Professional Founders" or "Business Engineers" down the line that have a decade or two of experience starting and running companies, none of which survived past infancy.
It's hard to imagine in the very positive atmosphere that most young entrepreneurs live in. What are you supposed to do when you want to keep building companies, but they just keep failing? Are you prepared to say "I can't do this very well" and move on? Where will you go?
I personally don't think startups are the tech equivalent of starting a band or going Hollywood, but I can understand why some would employ the analogy.
The startups that win do so only very rarely because a visionary founder innovatively guessed the future trajectory of culture. In my opinion being good at running a company mostly requires the usual mix of soft skills plus a strong, unconflicted motive to succeed.
For me I did my "startup" at a pretty early age (I didn't call it a startup then - it was just me building software and selling it online) and it has forever changed my perception of the workplace. I've tried slotting back in to some regular jobs since then and it hasn't really worked out all that well - I get anxious, frustrated with the slow pace, second guess too many decisions, wonder why everyone around me doesn't have that same passion/enthusiasm, etc.
Short of doing another startup, I've found contracting to be a good middle ground for me (for the time being).
Same here, and the frustration is compounded when you get slogans like "take ownership" thrown at you, but then find out you're not allowed to own the project, just the problems.
For example, it works well where employees are given the responsibility to take ownership of things. Some guy who runs a business that runs well on that premise writes a blog post about, or an article that's printed on page 23 of Inc. Magazine. Some middle manager reads that article and thinks "yeah, that could help me get to this quarters target" and tries to implement it in a company that isn't structured that way. Since he doesn't want to restructure, he simply tells his employees "yeah, you should take ownership now, that's an order", and the inevitable happens.
I think this article is true in the sense that startups cause you to lose any sense of being satisfied as a mindless "worker bee", but I'm not willing to rule out the idea that in some larger companies non-"worker bee" types who are driven individuals who want to make a dent can actually get a lot done with the resources of a large organization at their disposal. If you're in a good position mentally and financially, you have the luxury to just walk if the place is a dysfunctional mess or isn't letting you accomplish your larger goals quickly enough.
I think there's a certain point where you do need to step into the pool of ideas again: startup culture is pretty insular and at the end of the day if you are always working with a small team of like-minded people you are likely to not make the connections necessary to produce real innovation. Startups are certainly challenging in many ways. But there's a certain type of challenge you get when given a specific task by a mentor in a large company that seems impossible at first that really levels-up your skills. I've found that a lot of the type of learning in startups I've had has been rising to challenges that materialize out of the need to ensure the survivability of the product and business. These challenges are of a completely different flavor than those crafted by older and wiser mentors who have an interest in passing on their skills and throw you curve balls intentionally to make progress towards a larger goal while pushing the limits of your technical skill.
A little bit respect could be nice
I learned how to think critically in college. I had a few exceptional professors I gravitated towards and they really pushed me to learn this on my own. Through a few very involved research papers, I learned some of the key tenets of doing this.
I kept waiting for that grain of knowledge he was about to bestow on his readers on what exactly critical thinking is - but it never came.
Just in case you needed it. . .
Of those who do survive 18 years of public education and still mentally check-in on a daily basis, many they aren't capable of creating something outside of what they are given. That's the most troubling aspect of what he (and PG) are discussing.
These people can understand and execute complex instructions, but can't come up with their own instruction manual that actually fits their situation. Lots of successful people could be 100x more successful if they would stop trying to figure our how to make 200-page management fads work in their situation. Instead, if they would look at that situation, and engage their own brain and gut instinct to come up with solutions, they would be so much more efficient and effective.
If "so-so said to do it," or "I read it in a book," is your TOP reason for doing something--to me that's a 99% accurate sign that's its not the most effective thing you could be doing right now. Engage your brain.
> There is an insanely huge difference between, “We’re making a site for connecting to your friends” and, “Privacy is a relic of the past, so we’re going to push people to open up their lives and share, connecting them together.”
This is "learning how to think"? If so, then I'm afraid the NSA, Google, and Facebook are far ahead of those of us who just want to connect privately with friends. I would say that Facebook has learned how to think about ways to exploit the human impulse to connect. Hopefully there is a business opportunity in platforms for private connections as well. It may take years for public awareness of privacy issues to reach that level, but I hope someday people will look back at Facebook as a relic of the past when personal privacy was exploited for corporate gain.
The exception is California. And that's why Silicon Valley is in Silicon Valley.
Not many people can handle this sudden shift which is why a PhD is not something for everyone.
People here are not just willing to learn but enthusiastic. But they are like Paul Graham's baby birds, they don't even know what to learn or how to begin.
The Chinese education model is based on the idea that a student is an open vessel that the teacher pours their wisdom into. More often than not, that pouring consists of little more than route memorization of lists and facts. Computer education is little more than teaching how to operate GUI applications without any understanding of what they are doing.
Save a document? I asked my staff last year why you save documents and what happened when you clicked on "save" (no one had heard of C-c). No one had a clue. Digging deeper I found that half of them didn't have a clear idea what a file or file system was. And these were people who had graduated from technical schools! This wasn't the case even five years ago before Android and the iPhone became ubiquitous.
And that is part of the problem, mobile devices are little more than consumer electronics rather than general purpose computers. Everything is abstracted away from the user so there is less chance for people to learn how things work.
Last night my partner who is on a business trip in Tokyo, asked me to check his girlfriend's android phone because he hadn't been able to get through to her on Viber for a couple of days. When I checked her phone, it turned out that she had tried to install a new game, did a factory reset to free up memory, installed the game and then wondered why she had no email, facebook or viber on the phone...
When I get new staff, the most difficult thing to teach them is that if they have completed a task that had been given to them, that they have to hand in the work and ask for a new task. But it gets even worse. Many times, if they run into a problem in the task they just give up and don't tell anyone. When you ask them what happened, they give you a blank look and say something like, I couldn't open the file. So instead of asking someone for help they spent the next three hours on facebook until a manager noticed. Very frustrating.
The problem is that they have never been allowed to take responsibility for trying to solve a problem on their own. Traditional management and education systems here reward blind, literal obedience which is coupled with an abject fear of failure.
It's not enough to teach people how to think for themselves. They must have the freedom to fail, and be given the responsibility that goes along with it. We have our work cut out for us....
I'm sure that's completely down to a lack of thinking for oneself, and not, say, a stronger desire to be on Facebook than to do one's job ;)
At that time (in the 90's) it was still a pain in the ass to get a work visa and run your own business, but it could be done with a bit of money paid in the right places.
But as the years passed by, the government kept changing immigration rules almost every other month. The amount of paperwork needed to renew visas increased dramatically. You have to have a map showing where you live. You have to show photos of you working in your office, photos of you and all of your staff outside your office. We had an application turned down one time because I wasn't wearing the same color shirt as the staff in the photo.
Then they came down hard and changed ownership laws so that foreigners can't own 51% of a Thai company and closed the common loophole of using proxy shareholders.
Meanwhile we had been having a terrible time with Thai staff. Cambodian and Laos workers don't know how to learn but they try very hard to learn, and put real effort into learning english (which we need in order to deal with our customers around Asia). We are primarily a Unix and Linux shop (back then we were using SGI workstations for animation, modeling and rendering). But we had a difficult time finding staff who could even be bothered to learn different systems.
So it finally got to the point where we closed up shop, and I continued to live in Thailand, but ran my business out of Hong Kong (where I lived for 10 years before Osaka).
But in the end, the cost of living in Thailand had grown so high, and immigration had become such a pain in the ass that I finally gave up even living there.
We've now consolidated all of our business and are headquartered in Phnom Penh and it's been, all in all a very good experience. In thailand, expats spend 15-20% of all conversations talking about visas (even if you have a work/marriage/retirement visa). In the past year in Cambodia I don't think the subject has come up more than a couple of times).
I love Thailand in many ways, but the governments xenophobia, and the tendency for girls there to treat you as an ATM card with no pin number just wore me down.
Here's some advice: Choose your girlfriends more wisely.
I've lived in Thailand for 14 years. I don't have the issues you mention with visas. When I ran a company here I hired a lawyer to take care of it. No issues. I no longer run a company here but still hire a specialist to take care of my visa. It costs me a little bit of money and maybe a couple of hours of my time per year.
I didn't have the same issues with Thai staff either. I found them to be (mostly) hard working and good at what they did. The language barrier was sometimes an issue but that's because I wasn't fluent in Thai at the time.
I know a lot of (tech and other) entrepreneurs here. Apart from the normal difficulties I wouldn't say any of us have problems running companies here or maintaining relationships. I've had maybe three or four conversations about visas.
Foreign ownership laws are problematic, which is why I would't recommend starting a company here as a foreigner. The other issues you're talking about are pretty foreign to me and I wouldn't say your experience is representative of expats here.
Cost of living has certainly gone up. That has pros and cons.
When an engineer (of any type) can consider the how and why they are building, they learn to question some of the tasks they have been assigned, potentially resulting in a more efficient execution.
If a programmer is told to build a search function into a website, and he builds that, great.
If a programmer is told to build this, and he considers why, and realizes that certain things on the website aren't as clear as they could be, and decides to not only build a search function but also suggests certain usability and discoverability improvements to the website, then much better results will be had.
It may be a selection bias: Probably a founder wants to participate in the YC program partly because they want advices, feedback and maybe just psychological 'confirmation' (social confirmation) more than people with the same talent/knowledge who do not apply to YC.
I do not say that it is bad. Overconfidence in one's capabilities can be also dangerous. And needing social confirmation is a very natural thing. I just say that there is probably a small selection bias in play here.
Furthermore, attributing the rise to one cause (Facebook is about sharing) is simplistic and naive. Early Facebook wasn't too different from MySpace. Could have just been luck.
> You should follow me on twitter
Isn't the whole point, to not follow but rather, lead?
The title should be "Startups ruins you" because it can be rewritten as "it ruins you", or I'm missing something here?
So while "it ruins you" is correct for singular, the title comes from "They ruin you".
Edit: sidenote, this is why linguists dislike many people in the humanities who blindly follow "rules" and end up writing badly as a result because they make hypercorrections all over the place.
Well, I do. In simple terms, a word refering to another one in the same sentense/text (e.g. "My Xbox arrived and it was great" -- it being an anaphor for the Xbox).
It's a shortened version of the greek word "anaphora", which means "reference" / relation etc. It comes from the words ana (which roughly means "again" or "anew") and phora (pherein) which means "carries" (connotes, etc).
In the example case, "it" "carries again" the banana (in the sense that it refers to it again from another place).
"A startup ruins you" would be a fine English sentence.
Privacy is not a relic of the past, but a lot more that you intend to be private is and/or could be made public.
Information is like an infectious agent. Even if you want to keep it to yourself, if you are around others, it will likely spread, though you can control it to some extent. Even when you think it is eradicated, it may still be lurking, like smallpox and polio, to come back with force later. If you live in a cave in a large forest alone, the chance of it spreading is much lower. If you live close to others in a village, there is still a chance of infection. Few really want to live totally alone, so infection is almost impossible to avoid. But, no one can stop you from moving to the forest, or at least wearing a surgical mask.