“Most startups fail because because not enough people show up on the home page, or people show up but they don’t try the product, or they don’t pay for the product, or it’s too expensive to get them to show up, or they don’t tell their friends to come along, or because it’s not solving a pain that people have, or it’s not solving a pain that people know they have, or it’s too hard to explain the pain, or a bunch of other things that are not whether the code works or whether it looks good.”
We are power Matlab users. Some of us are Lisp hackers. Some are Pythonistas, others Rubyists, still others Perl hackers. There are those of us who used Mathematica before we could grow facial hair. There are those who still can’t grow facial hair. We’ve generated more R plots than any sane person should. C is our desert island programming language.
We love all of these languages; they are wonderful and powerful. For the work we do — scientific computing, machine learning, data mining, large-scale linear algebra, distributed and parallel computing — each one is perfect for some aspects of the work and terrible for others. Each one is a trade-off.
We are greedy: we want more.
That is a bit of good kind of greed which makes you build stuff because you want more and benefit an entire community in the process.
More at A Julia a Meta Tutorial.
Writing a memo is an even more important skill to master. “Full sentences are harder to write,” he says. “They have verbs. The paragraphs have topic sentences. There is no way to write a six-page, narratively structured memo and not have clear thinking.”
Paul Graham’s on Startup Investing Trends
I’m going to take a shot at describing where these trends are leading. Let’s start with the most basic question: will the future be better or worse than the past? Will investors, in the aggregate, make more money or less?
I think more. There are multiple forces at work, some of which will decrease returns, and some of which will increase them. I can’t predict for sure which forces will prevail, but I’ll describe them and you can decide for yourself.
There are two big forces driving change in startup funding: it’s becoming cheaper to start a startup, and startups are becoming a more normal thing to do.