I have to disagree with the "can easily tell within ten minutes if someone cannot pass muster" part. Interviewing is hard. We tend to make such snap judgments but those judgments reflect our own biases.
I have come to believe over the years that interviewing measures interviewing skills. Test scores measure test taking skills. Success on the job requires success-on-the-job (to coin a phrase) skills. All those things correlate, but the correlation coefficient is not super high. In fact, ignoring those correlations can be an effective strategy to find great people.
Aren't "interviewing skills" essential to founders? Isn't a YC interview basically a chance to pitch your company and answer probing questions about your plan? Seems like a pretty fair qualification to me...
Fundraising is not a CEO's endgame, but it's very similar to the day-to-day of CEO work: promoting the company to others; being the public face; communicating clearly, concisely, and effectively; making sure that the company 'works' in all the ways that matter.
All of these are 'soft skill' competencies that hackers tend to downplay. But you need someone who can do this and do it well.
I don't downplay the importance of those skills, but are they essential to all CEOs? Does every company need a public face? Absolutely not, at least not for startups, depending on your core competencies and what makes you a good CEO, the public facing stuff to the extent that it is necessary in any given company can be delegated.
I think of most VCs as "money brokers" or "money salesmen" rather than as capitalists or investors. A company taking in $100 million in venture capital is basically enabling the VC partner(s) to earn $2 million a year annuity until an exit. That 2% annual commission (that's what I call it) on every invested dollar is a substantial incentive on the part of the VC to push more and more money on companies that a) may not need it b) would be unwise to spend it.
I don't see any justification for the 2% on ever-larger rounds of investment. The work VCs do on a $100 million investment is not 100x more than the work they do on a $1 million investment. I hope that model gets disrupted!
--- abstract --
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a spectrum of behavioral anomalies characterized by impaired social interaction and communication, often accompanied by repetitive and stereotyped behavior. The condition manifests within the first 3 years of life and persists into adulthood. There are numerous hypotheses regarding the etiology and pathology of ASD, including a suggested role for immune dysfunction. However, to date, the evidence for involvement of the immune system in autism has been inconclusive. While immune system abnormalities have been reported in children with autistic disorder, there is little consensus regarding the nature of these differences which include both enhanced autoimmunity and reduced immune function. In this review, we discuss current findings with respect to immune function and the spectrum of autoimmune phenomena described in children with ASD.
-- end quote ---
The immune system in new-born babies and young children is immature and under-developed.
In purely economic terms, China has performed a fascinating ongoing experiment.
The Party looked at the "end state" of an industrialized, prosperous middle-class nation and then decided to will that end state into existence. In that end state, China needs to urbanize on a massive scale and these cities are simply the physical manifestation.
This is the grandest scale human experiment ever, collectivist decision making at its finest (those farmers who are forced to give up the land don't have much of a voice).
Will this work? I don't believe we can begin to calculate all the consequences of this experiment. In any case, it is not obvious the causality runs the way that is implicit in this experiment: build cities, move people, and forge a vast urban middle-class out of rural peasants.
This book is a somewhat sympathetic description of that grand experiment (mildly sympathetic to the Party):
Interestingly, this has long been one of the main Marxist criticisms of the policy of centrally driven industrialization (which Marx didn't believe in, but Lenin did). The traditional Marxist view is that socialism can only be instituted after capitalist industrialization, because it's a revolution driven by the urban proletariat that capitalist industrialization creates, not something that can be artificially created absent those material conditions. Hence the view of orthodox Marxists that "socialist" industrialization driven by a vanguard party would be internally incoherent, or at least non-Marxist.
(One hears less about this today, because the German revolution failed while the Russian one succeeded, so Lenin won out over Kautsky in dominating 20th-century leftist discourse.)
In typical state-planner fashion, the Chinese government completely misses a critical component of the rich-country population distribution: people (more or less) choose where they are going to live, i.e. it's not just a question of available bedrooms. Detroit has plenty of available bedrooms, and so does the most of the South and mid-West.
Your point on "slightly below" Turning machines caught my attention - exactly the same terminology I have used. I want as many proofs (assertions) as possible about code, and Rice's Theorem is a problem, so slightly below Turing is on the radar. If you are interested, we can discuss this. Shoot me an email at svembu at zoho ...
Basically India is in an utterly chaotic transition from an old established hierarchy where your caste and gender fixed your place in society to something that looks very different.
One part of the societal transition is that there is a vast horde of (mostly male) migrants to major cities in India and these men are absolutely not rooted in anything. They are away from their villages, their families, their social networks. For most of these young men, the social system, particularly gender roles, they experienced in the villages is very different from what they see in a big city. You put a lot of young men in that situation, they think anything goes, particularly when they see a foreigner or an urbanized Indian woman. They think of her not as a person, but as an object - but it is a different kind of objectification, where they feel inferior to the object, it is unattainable to them, so they act with cruelty and savagery. That is what is different between this form of objectification and normal patriarchal behavior which would try to be patronizing and protective towards women.
Those very same men, in their own village, would not do the same thing to a foreigner, because normal social restraints would apply. In a vast urban space, they feel the protection of anonymity and feel they can get away with anything.
The only short term solution, being tried in states like Tamil Nadu, is a massive increase in female police presence, both uniformed and plain-clothes police officers in public places in big cities. This does improve security for women where it has been tried (Chennai is an example of such a city). I hope her post serves us a wake-up call for the governments in India to think of measures like this.
If your thesis is correct, the optimal strategy for us would be to sell when the prices are very high (like they are now) i.e collect the next 50 years of "rent" right now, because it is so readily available. Instead, we continually and steadily improve the product (while clearly acknowledging that we have much work to do). Don't you think that is an awful rent seeking strategy?
It's amusing that you're defensive on this subject. Someone accused you of something, then another commenter said the described strategy was actually that of a well managed company. I explained the described strategy was very nearly rent seeking. So even though the thread started about your company, it became more general and that's when I stepped in.
I wasn't talking about your company specifically because I don't even know what you do. But the fact that you're defensive enough to take my comment as an attack makes me wonder if the OP was actually close to the mark. :)
Your point is fair - there is no point in building if we don't build well. We are focused on it - and it does take a while for software to mature and become world-class, particularly complex applications with huge data models (lots of tables). As Joel Spolsky said (paraphrasing) it takes 10 years to get software truly right. We will take your criticsm to heart.
I would apologize to your team, and I would circulate this thread internally first. Second, I would review why we got this wrong. We went through a major redesign in CRM after that forum post, and the user experience got much better (our CRM sales jumped as a result). I acknowledge we still have work to do, and we will take your criticism to heart.
Small nitpick: You probably mean to say "I will apologize to your team" not "I would apologize to your team".
The word 'would' is used when expressing something in a conditional mood, often times in light of some possible future occurrence. E.g. "I would try harder if only I were getting graded for this assignment" or "I would lose my mind if anything happened to my children".
We simply enjoy writing software, and as long as customers keep feeding us, we hope to continue doing it. As for design, have you checked out any of our recent offerings? Would you want to offer a point-by-point critique of our design? I can be reached at svembu at zoho ...