Tuesday, October 24, 2017 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

Paul Graham


American essayist, entrepreneur, investor, and programmer.
Paul Graham
The world changes fast, and the rate at which it changes is itself speeding up. In such a world it's not a good idea to have fixed plans.
Graham quotes
At every period of history, people have believed things that were just ridiculous, and believed them so strongly that you risked ostracism or even violence by saying otherwise. If our own time were any different, that would be remarkable. As far as I can tell it isn't.
Graham
No matter what you work on, you're not working on everything else. So the question is not how to avoid procrastination, but how to procrastinate well. There are three variants of procrastination, depending on what you do instead of working on something: you could work on (a) nothing, (b) something less important, or (c) something more important. That last type, I'd argue, is good procrastination.




Graham Paul quotes
Consulting is where product companies go to die.
Graham Paul
If you try to solve a hard problem, the question is not whether you will use a powerful enough language, but whether you will (a) use a powerful language, (b) write a de facto interpreter for one, or (c) yourself become a human compiler for one.
Paul Graham quotes
While the nerds were being trained to get the right answers, the popular kids were being trained to please.
Paul Graham
Another reason people don't work on big projects is, ironically, fear of wasting time. What if they fail? Then all the time they spent on it will be wasted. (In fact it probably won't be, because work on hard projects almost always leads somewhere.)
Graham Paul quotes
Competitors punch you in the jaw, but investors have you by the balls.
Graham
There are few sources of energy so powerful as a procrastinating grad student.
Graham Paul
A programming language is for thinking of programs, not for expressing programs you've already thought of.
Paul Graham
When those far removed from the creation of wealth -- undergraduates, reporters, politicians -- hear that the richest 5% of the people have half the total wealth, they tend to think injustice! An experienced programmer would be more likely to think is that all? The top 5% of programmers probably write 99% of the good software.




Paul Graham quotes
The best thing software can be is easy, but the way to do this is to get the defaults right, not to limit users' choices.
Paul Graham
At any given time, there are only about ten or twenty places where hackers most want to work, and if you aren't one of them, you won't just have fewer great hackers, you'll have zero.
Graham quotes
European public opinion will apparently tolerate people being fired in industries where they really care about performance. Unfortunately the only industry they care enough about so far is soccer.
Graham Paul
One thing that leads us astray here is that the selector seems to be in a position of power. That makes him seem like a judge. If you regard someone judging you as a customer instead of a judge, the expectation of fairness goes away. The author of a good novel wouldn't complain that readers were unfair for preferring a potboiler with a racy cover. Stupid, perhaps, but not unfair.
Graham Paul quotes
I actually worry a lot that as I get "popular" I'll be able to get away with saying stupider stuff than I would have dared say before. This sort of thing happens to a lot of people, and I would really like to avoid it.
Paul Graham
The more you realize that most judgements are greatly influenced by random, extraneous factors—that most people judging you are more like a fickle novel buyer than a wise and perceptive magistrate—the more you realize you can do things to influence the outcome.
Paul Graham quotes
If you work on something you can finish in a day or two, you can expect to have a nice feeling of accomplishment fairly soon. If the reward is indefinitely far in the future, it seems less real.
Paul Graham
There's no switch inside you [high school students] that magically flips when you turn a certain age or graduate from some institution. You start being an adult when you decide to take responsibility for your life. You can do that at any age.
Graham Paul
I've seen occasional articles about how to manage programmers. Really there should be two articles: one about what to do if you are yourself a programmer, and one about what to do if you're not. And the second could probably be condensed into two words: give up.


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