As I began to read Paul's essay, I couldn't help but be reminded of a book I read about a year ago, "Crimes Against Logic" by Jamie Whyte. DH1 Ad Hominem almost defines our political system. From the book: "The motive fallacy is so common in politics that serious policy debate is almost nonexistent. The announcement of a new policy is greeted, not with a discussion of its alleged merits, but with a flurry of speculation from journalists and political opponents regarding the politician's motives for announcing it. He wants to appease the right wing of his party, or is trying to win favor in marginal rural states, or is bowing to the racist clamoring of the gutter press, or what-have-you."
This essay really strikes a chord with me. In fact, I followed Paul's advice about three weeks ago when I left Charlotte, NC to move to Sunnyvale, CA in hopes of starting a start-up (or at least working at one). In non-hub cities, I would hear all the time about how I needed 10-15 years of experience to start my own company; maybe 1 out of 20 people would take me seriously. (To tell the truth, most people would assume I was starting some sort of manufacturing-like company. They would ask me where I was going to find the capital for such a huge investment). That sort of negative energy can weigh on anyone, and I knew I had to get to a place where I felt more accepted for this ambition.
On that topic, now that I have left my job (for the move), I would really like to get involved at a start-up out here. I loved working my tail off while I was at college and hated (barely) working at work for the past year. I really want to get back into nose to the grindstone working to build something cool. Anybody have a good idea how to get the ball rolling. I am teaching myself a few extra programming languages, but I feel like I need to get with the right people to get things off the ground.
Anyway, great essay Paul. Sometimes I wonder if the start-up companies will revolutionize "work" in a way that factories and unions changed the landscape of America during the 19th and 20th centuries. Are we that far away from a start-up being the norm? I suppose not everyone could work at a start-up, how could a start-up expand to a larger corporation if everyone is working at a start-up? But, I could see the mentality switch such that students work for/start a start-up for 2-3 years after college, if it succeeds, great, if not, they go work for a larger company or go to grad school. Either way, it sure would be nice to live in a society where everyone "takes their shot" before settling in to a nice, steady, safe career.
"That sort of negative energy can weigh on anyone, and I knew I had to get to a place where I felt more accepted for this ambition."
Interesting observation. Being in a non-hub, that has also crossed by mind.
OTOH, when you do a start-up, if the negative energy doesn't come from one place, it will surely come from another. So, instead of trying to minimize it, I have had to learn how to better respond to it.
I'm kinda old fashioned, so I believe that the code has to come before the funding. And as a hacker, I don't need a lot of contacts to do that either. So, for now, I don't care what others think or what the atmosphere is where I live. I will hack on.
This is a necessary, but not necessarily sufficient, condition.