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  5 Reasons to Join a Startup After Graduating

After I wrote my last post, a surprising number of people emailed me asking why I decided to join a startup after graduating from Duke. Many of those I heard from face similar decisions today: either they are college seniors choosing between a big company and a startup, or they are recent graduates who work at a big company and are thinking about making the switch. What’s interesting is that most are already leaning towards the startup career path: it seems they just want someone to assur...

1,094 0 0          WORK ADVICE STARTUP PASSION GRADUATION LEARN


  Fear of Ignorance

This past week, I was interviewing a candidate for a VP role along with two of our engineering leads. Everyone in the room excluding myself was classically “technical” – they could write code, had experience solving hard software problems and a background in computer science. I wrote my last line of PHP in 2004, and it had to be rewritten by a real programmer within 6 months.During the interview, we had the following exchange (due to an imperfect memory, I’ll paraphrase):Thomas...

1,492 0 0          TECHNICAL LEADER TEAM LEADERSHIP IGNORENCE


  Don't. Waste. Time.

Stuff we startups do that doesn't delight users:Office spaceLaunch partiesHealth insurance plansSalary negotiationsFounder equity splitsSeries F stockOffice Food Team-building activitiesCRM systemsBookkeepingHead countWorking in SOMAConvertible debt capsValuationsTechCrunchKarma scoresISOsPowerpointBusiness CardsBanksLawyersDesks1099sBug TrackersAgile ProcessesAdvisory BoardsHiringCap TablesPayrollMeetupsMeetingsOf course, much of this stuff still needs to get done.  At some point.&nbs...

2,006 0 0          WORK STARTUP HOW TO TIME MANAGEMENT


  Why Memorizing is Ineffective

The information-age has burst into life, creating a wake of social change. Young people are growing up faster and more sophisticated, as raw information, tailored-entertainment, and branded-marketing are streamed into their rooms. But this technological exposure has not necessarily made them savvier or more capable of handling tomorrow’s challenges.The debates in public education over “school-choice” and standardized testing have missed the far more important issue. The real choice America...

1,554 0 0          MEMORY CAREER MEMORIZATION INEFFECTIVE


  We’re working our young people too hard

Yesterday, I shared an anecdote involving a school I once attended with a list. This anecdote eventually became the basis for a blog post. Traffic was fairly normal for the first few hours until it found its way onto hackernews.Then it exploded.The comments on both the original blog post and the post on hackernews filled almost immediately with opinionated hackers, teachers and students sharing similar experiences, discussing the problem and figuring out what should be done about it.Repeate...

2,082 0 0          EDUCATION SCIENCE TEACHER STUDENT EXAM


  Why programmers are not paid in proportion to their productivity

The most productive programmers are orders of magnitude more productive than average programmers. But salaries usually fall within a fairly small range in any company. Even across the entire profession, salaries don’t vary that much. If some programmers are 10x more productive than others, why aren’t they paid 10x as much?Joel Spolsky gave a couple answers to this question in his most recent podcast. First, programmer productivity varies tremendously across the profession, but it may no...

1,087 0 0          PROGRAMMER SALARY EFFICIENCY PRODUCTIVITY NOT MATCH


  How to Think Creatively

I grew up hungry to do something creative, to set myself apart. I also believed creativity was magical and genetically encoded. As early as the age of 8, I began sampling the arts, one after another, to see if I'd inherited some gift.Eventually, I became a journalist. For many years, I told other people's stories. I was successful, but I rarely felt truly creative.The first hint I might have sold myself short came in the mid-1990s. In the course of writing a book called What Really Matters, Sear...

1,011 0 0          VERIFICATION CREATIVE THINKING SATURATION INCUBATION ILLUMINATION


  Why do so many technical recruiters suck?

It’s Tuesday, I get a call from an unknown number.  There is a little hesitation, but I finally pick it up.  My number is listed on my business card and I feel like I should get these calls unless I am in a meeting.- Hi, is this Mike?- Yes, speaking….- Hi Mike!  How are you today?- Fine…- I am calling from XYZ Co, and we deal with recruiting and staff augmentation.  I was wondering if you are looking for software developers.We are in San Francisco and it’s late 2011. ...

1,300 0 0          RECRUITMENT HR SUCKS TECH RECRUITER