Thursday, August 2, 2007

Paul's Stuff

One has to earn fame and do stuff to reinforce this claim to fame. I really do not like people that did something remarkable once (say, sell a company for a couple million to Yahoo) and then exploit this "fame" by giving semi-intellectual talks and writing semi-intellectual books and articles years and years after.

The person I'm talking about, of course, is Paul Graham. He once built (I think) the first web shopping site (written in the purely academic parenthesis-paradise language LISP of all things) and then sold it to Yahoo. Yahoo wasn't too pleased with the fact that it was a LISP system, but Joel said they shouldn't rewrite it, so there they have it.


Since then, what has Paul done, really? He wrote essays, gave talks about how great he felt he was, how LISP programmers are smarter than others, how important it is to start a start-up (which he all of the sudden became an experience expert on). Blah blah blah. Oh, and he started a company with the geeky name Y combinator that gives small amounts of funding to start-ups. One of the start-ups, of course, was Reddit. It's a cheap way of reinforcing your fame, just give a couple of bucks to geeks who will build a product for you that they will then sell for a huge amount -- and there you are, you got your money back and headlines will say that a company funded by you sold for X million dollars. Easy peasy.

Paul's latest semi-intellectual essay is entitled "Stuff". Promising huh?

I have too much stuff. Most people in America do. In fact, the poorer people are, the more stuff they seem to have. Hardly anyone is so poor that they can't afford a front yard full of old cars.

I love the premise! Are you as excited as me? Continue reading!