It's the evolution of business. A new kind of business that uses what's existing to build on top of. It's similar to a programming framework. You first have the language (albeit high level), then you have the framework to make transactions exponentially easier.
The code it takes to construct the framework would be the marketplace business, and the output of this is far greater than what would have been produced had the number of lines of code been just used towards the basic building blocks such as an individual feature or a business that is lower level, 1.0 so to speak.
Marketplaces are simply elegant businesses, and possible only because of the foundation of 1.0 businesses and markets that come before it. These are also the businesses that benefit the most with the least amount of work (code).
Now that I'm leading an engineering team, I think the absolute most important thing to remember is to always keep innovating.
Even with all this talent on our team, what's the point of having them if we can't put them to good use?
In order to absolutely get the most out of the people, we need a goal that everyone is aligned, think of all the things you could possibly do to help reach that goal, then one by one strip out the bad ones until you're distilled down to the absolute best idea to accomplish first. Then do it. Once done, do this again and do the next best thing to help get to where you need to go. And repeat, so on and so forth.
It's a lot harder than it seems to do. Because who is to say one task is more priority than another?
Maybe we need a rule of thumb test...
That's why we need focus. To really recognize what it is that is most important, because one great idea can output that of a thousand ideas. The key is to do what is relevant.
Life is the only thing in the world that can't be replaced. Nothing else will ever be as precious.
Really, cherish the people around you now because when it's gone it'll be too late. Unlike most other things, you can't replace it with money.
I think I finally understand what it means to lose someone's "innocence."
It's that moment when you realize that life is real, and that you are out there on your own now. You no longer have that safety blanket of a home or a mom or a dad. There are no excuses anymore, it's all on you.
It's like shit, it's gotten serious. Things can't just get brushed off like when you were a child anymore. You are solely responsible for yourself now.
"Entrepreneurship is a state of mind, a way of life" - Professor Edward Hess
As a designer, I want things that do not yet exist.
I just realized that, at the very core, I'm a designer.
"If you don't choose life, life chooses for you."
We're at the age where every decision that we make now affects how we live the rest of our lives ("we" as in my fellow 25 year olds). You buy a house (with a mortgage), you're stuck living there for the rest of your life. You go to grad school, you have your whole life to pay off that ass load of a debt. You have kids, your life is over. You start a business, well... ;)
Anyway, don't let life pass you by, because when it does and you think back at all the time you've wasted, and the things you wished you had done, you're going to be a very very sad and hopeless person. Don't be that person.
Seize the day, everyday.
So money can't buy happiness. But neither can poverty, so might as well be rich.
I know, I know, it seems like I'm contradicting myself here especially with the previous post, but dude, that's just how life is, it's very complex and intricate and there never is a clear cut answer.
You've probably met those people who tell you, "I want to be a banker because they make 6 figures," or, "I'm going into sports medicine because they make good money." I think this is all wrong. People should follow their heart and accomplish in this lifetime what it is that they really truly want to do deep inside. That way, they never stop doing what they do, they never get tired of it. They live and breathe what they do. If you love what you do, you'll never work a day in your life.
The underlying problem is that people are poor. Haha. No, really. Because people are poor, kids grow up wanting to do things for money, that's their North Star. They orient their lives with the intent of making money, gravitating towards the "careers" that will reward them with nothing more than paper, because they've never had it before. How happy do you think they will be with their lives? Once you have something, you're not going to feel it's that special anymore, that's just our nature. Of course, there are those who are too ignorant or too prideful to realize their not happy, but really now, it's probably why there's so many assholes in this world, people are always looking for ways to feel good about themselves, even if it means making other people feel bad. Happiness should be something that's shared, not taken.
Maybe that's also why a lot of really successful people come from medium to well off families (Gates, Jobs, Zuck, etc. but of course there are always exceptions), and that's because they grow up without ever having to feel like money is an issue, so they just follow their passions and what they actually want to do, and they become really really good at it. They set out to do things that change the world, rather than whatever they can get to make some silly paper.
It's so important to find what it is that you love doing, and stick with it. Really.
These last 3 years, I've been working on my first startup, LateNightOption, a late night online delivery service. And you know what, we're out of gas. Sure, we make money. I get paid, housing, benefits, etc. So what? Throughout this experience, I've learned that money only matters so much. Even if the money keeps flowing in, and in larger and larger quantities, it's still not going to change the fact that I hate being at the office and just wished that my employees would stop talking to me. Yeah, it's like that. We've really lost passion. We're selling something we wouldn't eat (I don't eat meat at home now, and pretty much both my business partner and I have turned into health nuts), and to people we really don't care much about anymore (potheads and drunks).
Really, find something that you really enjoy doing, and then do it. Don't get stuck doing something you find no enjoyment in, because eventually you're just going to grow numb to the money and It simply won't satiate. Soon enough you're gonna be 40 before you know it, and you're gonna look back at all the time you've wasted on crap you despised doing, and wonder why the hell you never got around to doing the things you've always wanted to. Time flies, so don't just let it pass you by.
So what's next? I don't know. Since I can't do more than one thing at a time (just like how I can't like more than one girl at a time, I don't know how some douchebags out there do it), I really need to sell this bad boy first and then worry about the rest later. I'm going to need to take some time off and really reevaluate what I want to do with my life, and how I want to contribute to this world.
All I know is that I want to change the world, create something that will forever change the way people behave and do things. Something revolutionary. I refuse to live a life of mediocrity.
And as a side note, I'm not quitting. Both my partner and I have questioned ourselves, whether it is not that we've lost passion, but rather we're just not the type of people who are willing to commit and see something through. And let me tell you this, I'm committed alright. I still love being an entrepreneur. Never once in my mind have I even considered taking on a 9-5 job after I sell this business. Not once. I'm just quitting on this business because it no longer brings me the fulfillment as an entrepreneur. There's nothing more for me to learn and grow from, and it feels like it's time to graduate. Even though I'm not committed to this business, I'm still committed to being an entrepreneur. If anything, I'd feel like if I were to stick with this business, I'd give up on being a true entrepreneur. Being someone who creates value in this world by bringing forth something truly innovative never before seen by the world. That, I will never give up on.
Not everyone is going to agree with this, but I finally get it. I finally know what all those successful people before me were talking about. It's like how Steve Jobs would emphasize on the idea of focus, Laser-like Focus.
The past few weeks have been eye-opening for me. Focus. Discipline. Perseverance. These are the 3 words I'd use to describe the experience. You really do have to focus and have the discipline to say "No" in order to fabricate your art.
First, you have to say no to your friends. When they're all out and about drinking and smoking, you must have the discipline to say no. It's not so much that hanging out with your friends is bad, it's that you lose momentum and when you try to get back to your work, it takes twice the effort. I'm in this mindset where there is one thing on my mind, one goal, one mission, and nothing can stop me. So why do anything to hinder yourself? Your real friends will understand and will still be around regardless of the number of "Nos" you've handed them.
Then, you have to always take that step back and look at what the core purpose you are trying to fulfill is. A lot of times, we get so caught up in the little daily tasks and the micro-picture of everything that we forget what it is we are really trying to accomplish. Engineers in particular have this problem of getting all wet over the bells, whistles, and features of their project that they forget what it is and WHY it is that they're doing what they're doing. We always have to take that step back and see it from the customer's/user's perspective.
Another thing, entrepreneurs have this problem of wanting to do a million things at once. That's something that is built into our core beings simply due to the fact that we tend to be overly-curious opportunists. I have a few other ideas that I really do think could be the next big thing, and I want to work on them now, but I really have to hold myself back and finish the project at hand before moving onto the next (in the past, it would have been different, and I've been side-tracked way too many times). It's really really hard to pour your heart and soul into more than one project at a time. It's like how I can't even like more than one girl at a time. I have no idea how those douchebags out there do it. If you never finish anything, you've never done anything. People have told me that getting started is the hard part, but no I must disagree, finishing something is exponentially more challenging.