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The Ugly Thing about The Hard Thing about Hard Things

(this post originally appeared on Medium) (discuss on Hacker News) Who the f%*k is Joel Clark Jr.? When I was five years old, we moved to Bonita Avenue, a collection of hippies, crazy people, lower class people working hard to move up, and upper class people taking enough drugs to move down. One day, one of my older brother Jonathan’s friends, Roger, was over at our house. He pointed to an African American kid down the block who was riding in a red wagon and dared me: “Go down the street, tell him to give you his wagon, and if…

People are interesting

(an old post from April 2011; saved as draft, left unpublished until now) I am reading a book on presentations, “Resonate”, by Nancy Duarte of Duarte Design, one of the largest design firms in the world. Below there’s an excerpt from page 12. People are interesting “A great way to stand out is to be real. Presentations tend to be stripped of all humanness – despite the fact that humans make up the entire audience! Many corporations condition employees to put meaningless words together, projects them on a slide, and talk about them like an automaton. The cultural norm is…

Accents, English, Arrogance, Success

[edit: thanks to Thomas B. for correcting a few mistakes I did below. You rock!] The recent discussion around “Accents” is very dear to me. Let me tell you something. Read on. 1) Accents Paul Graham recently wrote about accents. Simply put: if you have a strong accent (e.g. your English is not that great), you are more likely perform poorly as the CEO of a startup. It is rather obvious, but important to know. One more point that Paul raises is that when communication is important (when you are the CEO of a Startup, and not just any employee),…

How to improve Hacker News

Take a look at this thread: The user “tokenadult” is a great commenter. I have no way to see his Karma from here. My proposal is very simple. Today, this is what I see when someone comments: Tomorrow, it should be like this: Thoughts? Discuss on Hacker News.

On money

Seth Godin has a great post on money. Just go there and read it. He also mentions the need to learn a few concepts, and here’s the short, simple explanation for them: Opportunity cost: the value of the best alternative forgone, in a situation in which a choice needs to be made between several mutually exclusive alternatives given limited resources. Assuming the best choice is made, it is the “cost” incurred by not enjoying the benefit that would be had by taking the second best choice available. Opportunity cost is what you must forgo in order to get something. Investment: putting…

Learn how to fundraise your startup by doing it for a charity

I work for a big company, but in the past I’ve been an entrepreneur several times. Now I mentor for a few startups, and most of the time they’re struggling with one thing: FUNDRAISING. Even the brightest and smartest people are not at ease when they need to find the money for their startup. It takes guts, and you can do it only if you strongly believe in what you’re trying to build. My suggestion for you is to learn how to do it, by doing it for a charity first. The reason why? I am raising money for a…

Interesting notes on Paul Graham’s book

There are many, but this one caught my attention: 11. What bothers me is not that the kids are kept in prisons, but that (a) they aren’t told about it, and (b) the prisons are run mostly by the inmates. Kids are sent off to spend 6 years memorizing meaningless facts in a world ruled by a caste of giants who run after an oblong brown ball, as if this were the most natural thing in the world. And if they balk at this surreal cocktail, they’re called misfits.

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