A few people I respect pointed out some problems with my previous post. I stand by everything I said, but I will now offer a point-by-point rebuttal describing exactly why I was wrong.
- The parties are more fun than ever.
Laughing Squid held a big party at my sister's store last week, and since my friends were throwing it and my sister's name was on the building I guess I was a sort of half-mini-semi-host myself. Towards the end of the night Batgirl was doing her jump-through-a-hoop trick in the crowded interior of the store when the staff announced that it was time to go home. I volunteered to be the asshole who kicked out the leftover VC's, a-list bloggers and fancy new york reporters. I kicked them out with gusto not because I don't like these people but because I was so happy that I had nothing to prove to them, that I wasn't going to line up and try to impress them. I was at a party with my friends having a good time, and a few people were trying to impress me. Realizing my role at the party makes the party much more fun.
- I don't have to do much selling.
I also recently realized that now is my time to relax and profit from all the sales I did over the past 10 years. I spent a lot of time talking about work and proving that I was worthy, and now I get to talk about whatever I feel like.
- I don't have to listen to people who bore me.
Since I have nothing to prove I'm allowed to simply stop listening to things that I don't care about. This doesn't mean I'm going to be rude about it, but I might just try to change the topic in a subtle way. So if you're starting the third paragraph of the recited pitch for your new social network and I say "do you have any pets?" please take the hint and talk about your pets, which I promise to be interested in unless it's a cat.
(Note: I'll wait for Thor to rebut my point that "the success of a product has so little to do with the quality of the idea, team, strategies, etc that it isn't worth talking about.")
- I am overflowing with hope.
I believe so strongly in the power of technology to improve the world that it makes me sad to see people with such small ideas. You have to believe a few things for a startup to really be worth it:
a. Though I may not be smarter, faster, or better than anyone else I have an idea that I believe in so strongly that nobody will keep me from doing it. And if it fails this time I'll do it over and over again until it works.
b. If I make piles of money along the way it will simply remove the obstacles that a lack of money causes for a person like me. I'll be able to have bigger ideas, cause bigger change, and attempt things on a scale I never thought possible. I'll fail better than anyone has ever failed before!
c. I will sacrifice the profits at every step if it doesn't support my larger goal, and I'll be the boss so nobody will be able to make me compromise my ethics.
- I want to be rich, rich, rich!
If money is power, and assholes like money, then all the power will be in the hands of the assholes. I think that I can be enough of a non-asshole to spend a good percentage of my money on things that are good for the world. I also want to commute in a helicopter. Cuz, you know, who doesn't?
- The best software is about communication, and communication is the best thing we have.
- It doesn't matter that I'm not very nerdy.
The users' experience of technology is reaching the point where you don't have to care about technology to use it and benefit from it. The iPod is a great example of this: much of its early success was caused not by the design buy by the small, cheap hard drives that hardware companies had been working on for decades. But Apple still gets the credit for putting on the polish, and lucky for me I'm a polisher.
- We've only just begun.
The web is still just barely a teenager, and the innovation will continue to accelerate exponentially. When I got my first computer I stayed up all night playing with the flying toaster screensaver, which is the rough equivalent of what we did for the first decade of the web. Webvan and Boo.com were the Alpha, Web2.0 is the beta, and I should at least stick around long enough to launch the Version 1.