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tl;dr: look for integrity.

some of the most brilliant hackers i know are rightfully afraid of going into business with the kind of "brilliant men" described in this article.

just as non-technical founders benefit from learning to code for a myriad of reasons, hackers should do careful due diligence on a potential business partner. ask questions. require them to invest in the relationship. blow away the smoke and mirrors if you see their evidence, until you see that person in a humble light.

most of the time, this kind of salesperson is masking deep personality flaws which you can actually live with in exchange for the benefits, on one condition: the existence of abiding integrity.

so many of these relationships are predatory but they don't have to be if you find ways to get them to show you their character. see how they treat their friends. travel with them. build something together.

something a friend taught me is "H.A.L.T." = hungry, angry, lonely, tired. 1) don't make decisions when you're in any of these states; 2) it applies to choosing a business partner but here, you WANT to see them this way. you can learn a lot about a person when their basic needs are momentarily threatened, including how they treat you and others. so don't be dazzled, find them in a humble light because that's where a person's character is revealed.

the ones you want are comfortable with their humility.




I like the acronym!

I think HALT is also useful for introspection. Sometimes you are forced to function and make decisions in this state and you can learn a lot about yourself when this happens.

You can do this through work but it is probably better outside of that, through some sort of pastime that you can make difficult. Mountains, climbing and cycling are what I think of but there are many ways to induce HALT.

Intentionally push yourself out of your comfort zone every now and then and you learn a lot about your personal limits and your character. If you can't get on with yourself in a HALT state then how is anyone else going to?

Stress the organism and it grows.


right. the best long-term relationships have gone through stages of HALT, which is nothing more than exposing one's vulnerability.

that's where a person's character resides. and people who manage to be honest, and generous and courageous in those moments, are the ones to surround yourself with. experience character-building through HALT, in spite of it, and you're on your way to being a better man or woman, i suspect.




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