Ran out of money. Ran out of credit. Losing house in two months (already foreclosed). Wife pregnant. Three kids all under 6. Pretty sure I am the opposite of everyone here. I am no man. Just a statistic. Everything is gone. Selling spare parts to keep the lights on. It was a nice fantasy, HN. To the rest of you: fight hard and good luck.
Hey, other comments are going to give you a few lines telling you to not quit, that you should hang in there, and that it'll be alright. That may be true, but to me it sounds like you're possibly not doing well enough to make any of that possible, and you probably need to find work fast. Here's what I want to do:
1. I have a little list of companies looking for employees that I'll send you. Not much just companies that have contacted me looking for people.
2. I am a bad ass writer and have a crazy resume, but more importantly I know how to craft resumes and I'll look at yours and help you fix it up.
3. If you're in the San Francisco area I'll meet up with you and listen to what happened and see if there's a way to work out of it, or at least listen.
4. If you email me at firstname.lastname@example.org I'll talk with you and see if there's other ways I can help.
I'm serious, hit me up on email and I'll help out if I can. In fact, this goes for anyone else looking for work right now. Email the above and I'll reply with my little list. I don't make commissions on placement or anything like that, just a good thing to do.
Thanks for offering this guy light at the end of the tunnel. This reminds me of a a talk i had with my cousin a while back. I said to him that he had it easy growing up with his dad being an entrepreneur(construction industry), he laughed and said no way, maybe my younger brothers. He says that one day he gets home from school, his mother is sitting outside crying and guy's are moving furniture out the house, creditors where seizing all their stuff. He called his dad but nothing could be done. To top this off, his dad would be gone by 4am get home late at night and he would hardly see him.
So, his dad borrows some money from family and friends, keep in mind everyone was talking shit about him now, both friends and family. He took them across state to a rural area and told them that a lot of construction was going to happen here and that he was going to setup shop here. He hardly saw his dad and he doesn't remember a lot about how his dad did it but things started getting better, his dad got a contract with a huge mining company and shit just took off. We were discussing this at his beach house, that his dad bought for him. He said that he remembers the hard times but his younger brothers, think that there was no suffering just happy times and the life they have now. My uncle is now retired and the business is totally family run, he spends more time travelling than anything else.
In tech, we honestly glamorize startups, but what about all the others, the 90 out of every 100 startups that fail or just stay in zombie status. My point is not to encourage the OP to dig in but to let him know that it is ok to fail, many do with families as well but he will bounce back with a good job or something else down the line. Zed has provided that ray of light and hopefully u can turn it into a rainbow!
That's the risks of entrepreneurship. I come from an extremely entrepreneurially inclined family and I vividly remember having sheriffs of the court coming to knock on the door when I was growing. Its not all rosy when you are in the inside. I remember the kids at school were impressed by the big house and nice cars, we had 3 but only 2 driver, but there are other things that happen behind the scenes.
Not in the web world it doesn't have to be. It all comes back to the right way and the wrong way to start your business.
The wrong way is by taking out credit, quitting your day job prematurely, spending other people's money, leveraging your family's future, and jeopardizing your mental/emotional well being.
The right way is by creating a system that is robust; a job to pay the bills, allocating some amount of free time to working on the business, focusing on sustainability, refusal to take shortcuts, spending your own money (when it's needed) and not being in such a fricken hurry to get somewhere.
You do it properly by slowly gaining mastery in your business until when the time comes you've EARNED the right to quit your day job and go full time for yourself.
But hell, why would anyone want to do that? It hardly even makes for a good Hacker News story.
You reaply have no way of knowing this is how it happened for this guy. Id even hazard a guess and say he ran out of his savings cushion and then ran out of credit, cause like, thats what he said in the first 6 words.
I dont know what your trying to add to this conversation but its not helping anyone that reads these forums.
I think he's just saying that if you let your cash [commitments] get out in front of your business [income], you set yourself up for catastrophic failure. If you rented an office or bought a company car -- or took out a loan -- before you had good income, you made a risky move with consequences.
If you have a 9-to-5 and build up clients on the side to the point that you can eventually replace the regular salary, you win. You let the cash pull you into the business, not the business pull out all of your cash.
Honestly, I've had to sluff off clients on the side because I'd rather keep the "real" job for now. But if I was happy with $25-30k a year to start, I could've already made the move. Be patient, bide your time, don't let the cash get in front of your business, and wait until your business selects you. That's good advice.
I have for a while thought of you as (total honesty here) a bullying cock (though talented at what you do), but this comment which is sincere, genuine and offered to someone for whom this could be greatly helpful has made me seriously reconsider. Kudos.
Well, here we go again. You'll call me a cock, and then I'll rip you in half verbally, and then you'll forget that you called me a cock and go off telling everyone I'm such a big bad bullying meanie for all the horrible awful things I said to you, and then I'll be crushed by the general opinion all you highly influential meaningful people have about me that I'll...
Wait, actually I don't give a fuck what you think. I'm busy helping people while you're busy calling me a cock. Fuck you.
...but this comment which is sincere, genuine and offered to someone for whom this could be greatly helpful has made me seriously reconsider. Kudos.
I felt you'd appreciate an unhedged opinion rather than me adding a bunch of weasel words like "I had the impression, right or wrong, that you were a bullying cock..."
I meant to say, very sincerely, that I was moved by your offer of help and it very much made me reconsider my opinion, as that gesture of kindness is really at odds with that impression of you.
So - sorry for calling you a cock. I thought what you did here was very noble and I admire it. I just felt there was no other way of expressing what I felt without being cowardly and weasel-worded about it.
If a man helps another man, which I consider normal and I thought everyone would, you are "moved" when someone is nice. On the other hand it's a scandal if someone seems unfriendly, even though their actions are kind.
Stop please. And as parent wrote, nobody really cares that you changed your opinion. Opinions are nothing, you know. Actions on the other hand really count.
Every interaction with someone carries the chance of impact, the closer you get to talking about things related to or stemming from their core values the higher the chance you'll provoke a strong reaction (positive or negative). If you're not willing to potentially (perhaps not intentionally) express a viewpoint that could hurt the other person, then you'll be forever only talking about unimportant gumf or giving half-stated opinions that might not get the gravitas of a situation across.
Looking someone dead in the eye and without ego telling them "You're fucking up right now. Here's why" is a loving thing to do, and I'm thankful that someone cared enough to "hurt me"
Well it's a different kind of thing to say "I think you're a cock" vs "Hey I think you're doing this wrong - I'd do this and that to improve". While the latter can have the impact you describe, the former will just create alienation and destroys any basis of sensible communication. As demonstrated above.
Hurting is optional for learning. And personally I think it's entirely disposable.
First paragraph : Note that he didn't say that. Revealing a previous passive observation versus giving advice is different. He was basically just trying to say "I think I've had the wrong impression of you", but perhaps wanted to let him know just how strong of a negative impression he had. To me it read more like a sort-of public apology for holding a mistaken belief about Zed's character and possibly nudging others to reconsider any similar viewpoints.
Second point: Yup, optional just like most tools, and just like most tools there's always a set specific challenges where it can work wonders compared to the rest of the shed.
Your mileage may vary but I'd be very surprised if you can't think of a single lesson you've remembered better because there was some pain involved, we're supposedly hardwired to better remember those lessons, for obvious life-prolonging reasons.
You'd be surprised how many lessons are quite useless, regardless of their painfulness. Many of the things that happen don't have a systematical meaning that we can adapt our behavior to, but they happen because of chaos. A car accident that teaches you to always look left first (because you looked to the right, and bumped into a car coming from the left) at intersections can be very hurtful, e.g. if people are killed. And you will never-ever again forget to look left first, and never have an accident again due to this very reason, right? But, is that lesson any good? You might never again get into a similar situation, because the reason you looked to the right at that very moment was some dork honking at you. Or even worse, this lesson could lead to another accident because you are neglecting cars coming from the right.
Pain keeps you from touching that oven or from jumping down your balcony, but it's not a suitable tool to drive home a lesson. It holds us back. If you add painful lesson after lesson on top of your "fixed constraints" stack, then you won't be able to freely move after a while.
Nobody would grasp at straws enough to suggest to another man that the pain with a lesson is directly proportional to it's usefulness, that would be terrible, like the fate of the idiot in your analogy that decides the lesson learned is to look left.
So you burn yourself taking a casserole out, do you stop cooking? I'd hope not, you just now have the good sense to pay attention when dealing with hot, dangerous objects. We cherish this feedback, both as people and as entrepreneurs, that's one of the reasons we build MVPs
We could go a bit abstract and talk about pain/discomfort (including emotional) as devices, and I could give you anecdotes of when a former boss took me aside and plainly laid out why I could never hope to get where I wanted if I followed my current vector, but as we're anecdueling where's the fun in that :p
Talk to any gymnast and they'll usually be able to tell, if not show you physical remnants of, all the painful lessons they've learnt along the path of self-improvement. Ask them if they'd be half as good if they hadn't made those painful mistakes. Better yet ask them what makes an awesome gymnast, they'll usually tell you it's more about having "no fear" when going for stuff. Of course that's an oversimplification and discounts the years of training and talent, but there's a realist perspective in there.
Yes there will be painful lessons along the way, such is life. Not to go all ad populum on you but it's a fairly standard cliche that the people who can take the experiences, learn from the setbacks and not let the fear of another fall stop them trying will learn an awful lot faster and deeper than if they shy away from anything potentially upsetting. That fear of being upset by something is a personal issue and may limit what someone can achieve.
I hate to be go all happy family on you, but please avoid
swear words in a public forum like hacker news. There are enough forums where that sort of behaviour is a part of the culture and it degrades everyone.
I would assume that discouraging people from speaking their minds the way they feel like to is more harmful to a community than having to tolerate the occasional cuss word.
I know this is just a plea of yours, not an order, but it still comes across as patronizing to me. If you hate going all happy family on someone, don't do it. It will achieve nothing but aggravate them.
People like you - the genuinely transparent and fearless - are the only ones capable of sincere gestures. The scoundrels and cowards hate you because your honesty makes them self-conscious, so they'll fight you on grounds of "politeness".
Thank you for your honesty. Whether you care or not, know that the people that value it -truly- do (unlike the cooze that reacted on you).
Also, thank you for your amazing coding lessons. Your CLI book/guide is largely responsible for helping me land my current job. I have ADHD:PI and find your "cut through the bullshit" method of teaching INCREDIBLE. I've purchased your Python book and look forward to the experience.
> People like you - the genuinely transparent and fearless - are the only ones capable of sincere gestures.
I assure you that I am very little like Zed -- apart from my fear and opaqueness, I also appreciate the mean as an excellent first-order summary statistic -- and yet I am very sincere in my belief that your response is pure vacuity.
Why not try turning the attack into a compliment and make the attacker love, that's what alpha males do. :) If you need to say fuckk, your original point wasn't strong enough and you needed to reinforce it.
Saying fuck normally should be used to create rapport with someone and allowing him to use the word too.
Welp, quite some deep psycho analysis shit here.^^
To people that know him personally, like myself, Zed is a great guy. My guess at the problem is that his Internet persona took on its own life outside of his control, and it grew to such a bad situation that it was better to not try to feed the trolls and simply put some distance from it.
In other words, let the haters hate and be ignored, stand up for yourself when appropriate, and the good people will eventually acknowledge good deeds and fight for you.
I don't personally know Zed outside of his internet persona -- and to me it seems like he's just a guy who doesn't put up with bullshit. I have never seen a time where he's an asshole to anyone who isn't shooting first. He puts his opinions out there and sometimes those cause flame wars so if you catch him in the middle of one those on Twitter then I can definitely see where people might think he's a jerk.
His tweets are comedy gold though -- highly recommend everyone follow him -- @zedshaw
At around 34:30 he admits he's an asshole in the context of slamming other people's work.
For him to jump all over the person above who called him a cock, well, all I can say is "pot-kettle-black, motherfucker".
"I'm busy helping people, you're busy calling me a cock".
Cry me a river. In the video he gets real busy rubbishing other people's work. Not to say he didn't have some very good, honest, refreshing points. But one needs to be able to take it if one dishes it out.
He's brutally honest. I don't know why people can't be more
honest. I knew 7 guys about 15 years ago who started a gaming company. It became successful. When ever they
talk about their now defunct company--they all lie about
how they became successful. The truth is one kid had a rich, lawyer father. The father set everything up, and
completely funded the company for years. Everyone of them
leaves that out of the "I want to get laid speech". It's
nauseating. The ironic part of their company success story
is they sold out too early, for 500K a piece. As far as I
know, everyone of the 7 dudes is broke now--or just game
testers. The two guys I kept in touch with thought they
were going to make a fortune in the stock market with their
big brains; they lost everything in 2008.
Again, rewriting history. I attacked Mark only after he refused to fix his book, despite my offer of help, and told me to go fuck myself. He'd also attacked many other people in an exactly similar way before I did. I mean, c'mon, all I did was replicate this post Mark did:
I didn't see you calling Mark a cock after he wrote that. And, let's not forget that when Mark did take his gear off the internet I was sympathetic and told people to not "kick a man when he's down", something I'm damn sure he wouldn't do for me.
So if you're bringing out Mark Pilgrim as your shining example of people I "bullied" you pretty much picked about the worst example ever. Mark was a dick who shit on quite a few people in his day and deserved a little bit in return. Thinking that he was some choirboy that I beat up is a very naive way to view the world, but that's what I expect from someone who builds up mythical opinions of people they've never met.
Anyway, closing this tab now. I've sent out about 60 emails helping people find work and will be looking at about 10 resumes tomorrow in the time it took you to write these little comments. You rock dude!
There's a difference in the two phrases:
I love you, but you're fucking stupid.
You're fucking stupid, but I love you.
I prefer the former to the latter. Sweeten me up then crush me with reality. A lot of people see the latter and just absolutely stop reading after "You're fucking stupid", especially people with admittedly short attention spans.
That would be the only thing I would apologize for or alter, personally. I understood the sincerity immediately but this is because I come from a long line of men that have taken the latter approach and I have to willfully ignore the negative because I know some positive exists or they wouldn't bother saying a damned word.
IMO the best way to go about it in this case would have been simply to express your appreciation/admiration/whatever for his actions here, and ignore the past. That would clearly imply that you've at least somewhat adjusted your opinion, without having to explicitly bring it up.
Of course, it also wouldn't have spawned a hundred-comment sub-thread.
I can understand that POV, but I expect you're in the minority. Most people in my experience respond better to "I respect you," than to "I used to think you were a cock, but now I'm reconsidering and starting to respect you."
Well, he did call _why a dick (which is just a no in my book), but when all is said and done I think this is irrelevant. He's giving a guy in need a hand, and I think we should all look up to Zed for it.
Speaking of cocks, the technical leadership at two well-funded startups systematically harassed Zed by adding him to github repos that contained nothing but ASCII cocks. I know this because they bragged about it openly, thinking it hilarious.
Zed takes a lot of abuse for little reason.
I debated naming the companies here, but they appear to be failing anyway. Probably because they hired the sort of people who find harassment hilarious.
edit: removed oblique reference to one of the companies. I don't feel like giving those firms any publicity, even if it's bad publicity.
I have no idea if he is a bullying cock or not, but his personal website is a spectacular artifact of narcissistic douchebaggery. I am not sure I have ever seen someone tell you he doesn't care what you think of him so many times in such a short span. It reads like a high school journal.
One day, when he is an adult, he will look back on that and really cringe.
Yea, seeing zedshaw's comment I thought he was about to ridicule the guy for whatever reason. This was unexpected. A good deed, though it doesn't make him not a bullying cock all of a sudden. He's a stellar rockstar with attitude. It happens :)
I agree, if he were young and single with no dependents maybe "hang in there" would be appropriate, but this guy just told us he has a wife, three kids, and a fourth on the way. To add to that he is out of money, out of credit, and out his house. When you haven't got a nickel to your name and you have five dependents, that's hardly the time to go "down for doubles" on a big risk (unless you are out of options)
Don't worry, I'm sure the next person you meet will bring you crashing back to reality.
@OP.. it may not help much in your position, but that Man in the Arena quote seems relevant here. Imo you still deserve more respect (all other things being equal) than the vast majority of the world that not only never attempt great works, but actively try to prevent others from trying or succeeding too. Hope that your next endeavor goes better.
Wow ! What a man ! By reputation, I knew you from your rant on Ruby on Rails years ago and your move to the python ecosystem. As a Rails lover, at first time I was thinking like the mainstream about your rants and your opinions. Later I discovered learnXthehardway series and your work and found them awesome. But today, I definatelly appreciate you Zed, hope one day I will meet you in person, even for a 15 minutes coffee time. Have a nice day and good luck themanthatfell, one advice.
Never give up, as a men we should never abandon even how deep is our situation (I even took the risk to quit my job in 2011 while my wife was giving birth of our first child), you'll always find a way. If you have 1 chance on 100 to get something, just try 100 times and you'll get it, even Thomas Edison tried 10K times before finding the way to make the light bulb.
I encountered Mr. Shaw's rant on Rails years before I happened to find myself on a Rails project, and thank God I did; otherwise, my experience with Rails might've led me to think there was something wrong with me.
I read "I am a bad ass writer and have a crazy resume" and then thought "oh who is this guy?". Then I saw it was Zed lol. yeah, totally a badass writer. Carry on.
So cool that people are stepping up to help instead of kicking someone while they are down. This guy isn't a failure until he gives up. It just wasn't the right time, and I look forward to a future post where he talks about his next shot at doing something.
Good on all of you to redeem the HN community in the eyes of all.
Despite what people may think based on his "style", he's always come across as a really nice guy to me. Reminds me of one of my best friends actually, seems like an arsehole but is one of the most genuine and caring people I know. Funny how that can be the case :)
I've said it once before and I'll say it again... Zed, if YOU are ever up for it, I'd love to buy you a beer man. I live in the bay area and so meeting up should be of little issue. I've seen the comments from your fans AND detractors, and I must say, I've never really bought into the negative. I'm not surprised by this comment and your willingness to help another individual who has fallen on hard times.