I’ve been doing a bit of business + development reading from other people’s blog who are in the software + business sides of things for quite a while. One of my favourite blogs has to be Paul Graham’s blog and especially this post titled: Why Smart People Have Bad Ideas.
Couple of good points which resonates deeply are:
So the biggest cause of bad ideas is the still life effect: you come up with a random idea, plunge into it, and then at each point (a day, a week, a month) feel you’ve put so much time into it that this must be the idea.
How do we fix that? I don’t think we should discard plunging. Plunging into an idea is a good thing. The solution is at the other end: to realize that having invested time in something doesn’t make it good.
Have you not been in these kind of situations before? Good for you, you might either be really lucky or you haven’t even tried and fail before.
It’s hard enough to make money that you can’t do it by accident. Unless it’s your first priority, it’s unlikely to happen at all.
So so true. If it ain’t something that make you excited when you wake up and make you work for, why do it?
So why were we afraid? We felt we were good at programming, but we lacked confidence in our ability to do a mysterious, undifferentiated thing we called "business." In fact there is no such thing as "business." There’s selling, promotion, figuring out what people want, deciding how much to charge, customer support, paying your bills, getting customers to pay you, getting incorporated, raising money, and so on. And the combination is not as hard as it seems, because some tasks (like raising money and getting incorporated) are an O(1) pain in the ass, whether you’re big or small, and others (like selling and promotion) depend more on energy and imagination than any kind of special training.
A pretty good definition for what the term business really means
That’s the essence of a startup: having brilliant people do work that’s beneath them. Big companies try to hire the right person for the job. Startups win because they don’t– because they take people so smart that they would in a big company be doing "research," and set them to work instead on problems of the most immediate and mundane sort.
I’m convinced that startups are the best place to really learn and getting things done, compared to big companies and corporate which is full of crappy personnel, workplace politics and hierarchy bullsh*t.
A hacker who has learned what to make, and not just how to make, is extraordinarily powerful. And not just at making money: look what a small group of volunteers has achieved with Firefox.
Examples doesn’t stop there – look at youtube, digg, skype, facebook, twitter etc – they are all startups!