October 9, 2014 at 2:46am
Love what you do != Do what you love
From Paul Buchheit’s talk at Startup School Europe 2014.
It’s often said that you should “Do what you love”, but that’s mostly bad advice. It encourages people to grind away their lives in pursuit of some mostly unattainable goal, such as being a movie star or a billionaire startup founder. And even if they do make it, often the reality is nothing like they imagined it would be, so they’re still unhappy.
Do what you love is in the future. Love what you do is right now. As with the other patterns, it’s meant to guide the small decisions that we make every moment of every day. It’s less about changing what you do, and more about changing how you do it.
From the tour guide to Yahoo founder to the wealthiest man in China
While Yahoo Japan began gaining millions of customers, Yang took his first trip to China in 1997. A junior staffer in the economic ministry was assigned to take Yang on a tour of the Great Wall of China. His name was Jack Ma, a former English teacher who had tried and failed to start a Chinese version of the Yellow Pages.
“Jack was one of the first people I ever met [in China],” Yang says.
Along the hike the two hit it off and talked about the growth of the Web. “He was very curious about what it’s like on the Internet and what the future might be.” Several months later Ma began building another startup based on grand and rather vague plans to connect Chinese companies with the rest of the world. He called it Alibaba.
October 1, 2014 at 11:42pm
How to get yourself noticed if you hate self-promotion
Reading time: 6-8 minutes
I came across Austin Kleon’s work (’Steal Like an Artist’) for the first time while browsing the bookshelves of Borders in Burlingame, CA in August 2012 waiting for my friends to finish shopping. In about an hour, I ended up reading the whole thing while standing between the shelves without even buying the book (I bought the Kindle version later that year). All before my friends would return. This March I really enjoyed Austin’s talk at SXSW where he talked about his new book, ’Show Your Work’. Here’s the summary of the book I initially wrote for myself, but decided to publish it in case someone will find it useful (or time-saving) .
Former manager on what it was like to work at Apple
Don Melton: When someone came into my office and said they wanna be a manager, I asked them, “How did you sleep last night?” And they said, “Oh, fairly well”. and I said, “Good, ’cause that’s the last good night’s sleep you’re gonna get.”
Because it is like that. It’s a stressful job, there’s a lot of responsibility, and you always have to be on. I mean, it’s not that it’s not fun, it’s not that it’s not fulfilling, it’s not that you don’t get to work around all these brilliant people. The bad side effect is they’re all, like, workaholic, psychotic brilliant people.
And I have also tried to explain to people by using analogy, ’cause they ask, “What’s it like being around Steve and Avie [Tevanian] and Bertrand and Scott and Phil [Schiller] and Tim [Cook]?”
And I said it’s a lot like working in a nuclear power plant, but you don’t get one of those protective suits. It’s a lot of radiation and you either learn to survive it or you die. ’Cause they’re not mean people, they’re not spiteful people, they’re not trying to trip you up, They’re just very intense and, you know, things emanate from them, right?
September 29, 2014 at 7:06pm
Terence Tao on why Asian countries are so good at science olympiads
Q: At IMO, why do you think that China, Russia, Japan, and the Koreas always seem to win the unofficial team competition and win the most medals as a team, often with perfect scores? Do you think this says anything about English-speaking cultures like Australia, the US, and the UK and their emphasis on math education?
September 28, 2014 at 5:18pm
For the past two years, quite unintentionally I’m experimenting with a new spin on the 4-Hour Workweek lifestyle. I call it ‘6 + 6’. The idea is that you have a high-paying traditional office job for the first 6 months of the year. The remaining 6 months you spend not working from the office: traveling, freelancing, spending time with your family and friends, exploring new disciplines, dabbling with new hobbies or doing something from a pure self-expression, be it writing, launching new mobile apps, or teaching at the university.
The main requirement is that you preferably earn a substantial amount of money in the first half of the year to afford the desired lifestyle in the second half of the year, especially if you’re into traveling just like me. I find this more relaxing than a year-long sabbatical around every 7 years popularized by New York-based graphic designer Stefan Sagmeister.
August 24, 2014 at 6:29pm
Silicon Valley Is Now Public Enemy No. 1, or 31 lessons from TechCrunch’s Danny Crichton
Total read time: 10-15 minutes
The video of the episode is on Youtube.
While in Singapore for Echelon 2014 (annual tech conference in Asia), I used the opportunity & shot the long overdue 15th episode of ‘Princeton Startup TV’ where my guest was contributing writer at TechCrunch - Danny Crichton.
Danny Crichton is currently a doctoral student at the Harvard Kennedy School and a contributing writer at TechCrunch. Founding his first company in high school, Danny was formerly an investor at General Catalyst Partners. Danny was a Fulbright Scholar in South Korea, where he was a visiting researcher at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology in Daejeon. He worked in product management at Google, where he conceived and launched Google+ Search. His award-winning thesis was on the history of Silicon Valley and Stanford’s Department of Computer Science. He graduated with honors and Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford University with a B.S. in Mathematical and Computational Science.
We discussed a ton of topics: lessons learned as an investor at General Catalyst and APM intern at Google+, his favorite home screen apps, book recommendations, typical day as a writer, techniques to make yourself to write, daily habits and goals, productivity tips, mistakes novices make in writing & blogging, favorite quotes, all things startups and Silicon Valley, etc. Here are the 2^5 - 1 lessons from Danny:
Daniel Ha, CEO and co-founder of Disqus: 9 lessons on the path to reaching a billion readers
Total read time: 6-8 minutes
The video of the “Princeton Startup TV” episode # 14 with Daniel Ha is available here.
Daniel Ha is the CEO and co-founder of Disqus, the web’s community of communities, online discussion and commenting service, which reaches one billion unique users a month. Daniel studied Computer Engineering at UC Davis before deciding to drop out from school to pursue his startup full time. He was selected as one of the "Best Young Tech Entrepreneurs 2011" by Businessweek.
Here are some of Daniel’s most memorable thoughts from the interview.
New daily ritual
In the last few months I started to have “a bad time finding time” for writing full-fledged essays. As a result, I decided to resort to a more aphoristic format to record my experiences. I’ve been writing down my aphorisms for 11 years already - since 2003, but it has always been sporadic and inconsistent.
How do you find time to read?
Finding the time to read  is essential on the path of continuous learning. Create a habit of finding one hour for reading at the same time (say, at 9:00pm before night walk and sleep) every day. Here’s what Warren Buffett has to say on his long-time partner Charlie Munger:
"Charlie, as a very young lawyer, was probably getting $20 an hour. He thought to himself, ‘Who’s my most valuable client?’ And he decided it was himself. So he decided to sell himself an hour each day. He did it early in the morning, working on these construction projects and real estate deals. Everybody should do this, be the client, and then work for other people, too, and sell yourself an hour a day”.
 Not passively obviously. Grabbing ideas from the books, reading critically is as essential.