How long you spent on it.
How hard it was to implement.
How clean your architecture is.
How extensible it is.
How well it runs on your machine.
How great it will be once all their friends are on it.
How amazing the next version will be.
Whose fault the problems are.
What you think they should be interested in.
What you expected.
What you were promised.
How important this is to you.
I have to keep relearning these lessons. Finding an experience that people love is far more precious and rare than most of us realize.
"Third, love your users. If you build it, they won’t come. Building consumer web startups is absolutely not like building a car… It’s more like throwing a really awesome party. And nobody throws parties for people who they don’t love."
Intelligence is the equivalent of knowing all the words in the dictionary, all the rules of grammar, sentence structure and so on.
Vision is the equivalent of imagining up a good story.
You can know even the most esoteric of words and all the rules including the most obscure ones but all that knowledge means squat if you can’t come up with a good story. That’s why billionaire company founders are typically visionaries, not those who can belt out the best lines of code or those who can build out the best spec’d hardware.
To put in another way, intelligence is “force” and vision is “direction”. Columbus found America because he knew where to look for land (direction i.e., vision), not because he had the best sailing vessel (force i.e., intelligence).
People often confuse both. There are many cases where someone who’s not very intelligent has vision because they intuitively know where to go and what to do. Most self-taught people could fall under this category; they know what to do, but often do not possess the knowledge and skills to do it and hence set out to acquire just enough of both to do what they want to do.
"Entrepreneurs get stuck trying to find something they are passionate about. Picking a business you are passionate about is not as important as being passionate about the process of building a business. I’m not passionate about any particular business industry, but I am passionate about finding problems and solving them. Make your passion solving problems and adding value – then you can go almost anywhere and do anything. And most importantly, you can get started. Once you get started, you start to see dozens of new opportunities open up that never existed when you stood still."
George Seldon received a patent in 1895 - for the automobile. Four years later, George sold the rights for $200,000.
He had what he needed to rule the world, but unfortunately for him, he couldn’t see it.
"Today knowledge is ubiquitous, constantly changing, growing exponentially… Today knowledge is free. It’s like air, it’s like water. It’s become a commodity… There’s no competitive advantage today in knowing more than the person next to you. The world doesn’t care what you know. What the world cares about is what you can do with what you know."
Man in a complex society can have no choice but between adjusting himself to what to him must seem the blind forces of the social process and obeying the orders of a superior. So long as he knows only the hard discipline of the market, he may well think the direction by some other intelligent human brain preferable; but, when he tries it, he soon discovers that the former still leaves him at least some choice, while the latter leaves him none, and that it is better to have a choice between several unpleasant alternatives than being coerced into one.
I, of course, have gone with the former.
On October 22, 2007, technology company SCO asked a bankruptcy court to approve a deal whereby a purchaser would acquire “substantially all assets used by the Company in connection with its SCO UNIX Business and certain related claims in litigation.” The agreement included a “stalking horse” provision: If the purchaser, York Capital Management, were to be designated as a stalking horse in subsequent bidding for SCO’s assets, and if others outbid York, then SCO would have to pay York a $780,000 breakup fee and reimbursement of all expenses incurred by York up to $300,000. In this way, York would earn its expenses and $780,000 by acting as the stalking horse and preventing other bidders from making lowball offers.
If you lost faith in human creativity after spending a few minutes on YouTube, this should revive it.
Recurly, Stripe, Chargify and 1000s more to come. Why will they succeed when Google Checkout, with all that Google-y muscle, hasn’t? Perhaps their ambition is to just carve out a niche for themselves instead of replacing Paypal as the dominant online payment solution. Now that makes sense.
Or perhaps they plan to be behind-the-scenes and do B2B (eg: power the Saas businesses) rather than handle B2C themselves (which requires oodles of user trust that comes from brand recognition).