Startups and Inertia

I have followed Paul Graham closely since I picked up his book, Hackers and Painters. The book's title alone caught my attention, and once I picked it up and read a chapter, I knew I had a gem.

A Little Background

"In 1995 he developed with Robert Morris the first web-based application, Viaweb, which was acquired by Yahoo in 1998." (- Since that time he has started a funding company for startups called Y Combinator. This company basically takes applications from young men and women, who are interested in doing what he did at one time: start a startup. In particular a company looking to get acquired by someone interested in whatever web technology they come up with.

America the Beautiful

Only in America can such a fantastic opportunity be available to young people. Graham has talked about why America is where startups are possible before, and I tend to agree with him wholeheartedly.

Startups: The Bad

Graham's latest essay is about why you shouldn't start a startup. An interesting angle to take on the subject that he's most often asked about. He's basically trying to convince you to not start one, so you are aware of the cons of such an endeavor. When he started Viaweb in 1995, he probably didn't free access to such great advice.


Graham goes on to say in his latest essay, that he would even have students submit to his program without even giving an initial idea, because most of the time they change anyway during the course of the program anyway. This brought me, one who would love to build a cool web application and sell it for millions, to my feet. I can submit without even having a clue on what I wanted to program towards? Awesome!

Sadly as I write this post, and I continue to improve my ability to get things done, the deadline is actually today. Where as he does mention that some previous participants have submitted their entry hours before the deadline, I feel like I'm not in the right place to make this happen for myself just yet. I do have school loans that need to be paid, and I have a good job that I like a lot. Not to mention I'd have to be away from my wife and puppy for entirely too long (although I'm sure they'd understand once I succeeded).

I've concluded that for now, I think I'm going to stick to my writing on the web, and move into other things as I get my shit more together. I'm still in it, but I'm biding my time for now.


I don't know what tomorrow will bring, but I do know that whatever I'm doing I want it to be something I enjoy. Right now I'm working on my fiction/non-fiction writing with this blog, and I'm trying to find my voice as a creative. Do I want to write? Act? Edit Video? Podcast? Program?

I'm not sure, but I look forward to finding out as I go.