Why Stallman is wrong

[discuss on Hacker News] Richard Stallman (also known as RMS, from his initials) is considered one of the fathers of the Free Software movement. I have a deep respect for someone who dedicated most of his life to a noble cause. His latest article is about “Reasons not to use Facebook“. (photo courtesy of RMS himself, source here) The article is smart, factual, and well written. Unfortunately, there’s a fundamental flaw in it. Stallman would like to convince MANY people that using Facebook is wrong, and lists the reasons. The problem with his view is that MOST people would not…

A better mentor manifesto?

[discuss on Hacker News] I’m a fan of Techstars, even though nobody’s perfect (no, not even YC). David Cohen, one of Techstars’ founders, has interacted with hundreds and hunders of startups, and their mentors. In his latest post, he writes his version of a “Mentor manifesto”, to answer the simple question of: What does it mean to be a great mentor? I have a slightly different view, but I think it’s wise to build on top of what David has already written. Therefore, I will list his points, comment or elaborate on each point, and add my own. But first,…

Apple will NOT buy Tesla for $75 Billion in 18 months

Jason Calacanis is an accomplished VC (Venture Capital), angel investor, and startup guy. He’s also a smart guy. He recently wrote that, in his view, Apple will buy Tesla for $75B in 18 months. I 100% disagree. Let me explain. (disclaimer: I own no AAPL or TSLA stocks, I don’t own a Tesla car, and I own two Macbooks). What’s the current status? Some facts, so that we are all aligned. Apple is worth more than $740 Billion. It sold about 170 million iPhones in 2014, among other things. Tesla is worth $25 Billion. It sold about 33,000 cars in…

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(an old post from April 2011; saved as draft, left unpublished until now) I am reading a book on presentations, “Resonate”, by Nancy Duarte of Duarte Design, one of the largest design firms in the world.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…

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