7 observations on dating for short guys

The way a startup makes money is to offer people better technology than they have now.

But the smarter they are, the less pressure they feel to act smart.

So as a rule you can recognize genuinely smart people by their ability to say things like "I don't know," "Maybe you're right," and "I don't understand x well enough."This technique doesn't always work, because people can be influenced by their environment.

Google's plan, for example, was simply to create a search site that didn't suck.

They had three new ideas: index more of the Web, use links to rank search results, and have clean, simple web pages with unintrusive keyword-based ads.

And while they probably have bigger ambitions now, this alone brings them a billion dollars a year.

[1]There are plenty of other areas that are just as backward as search was before Google.

A lot of would-be startup founders think the key to the whole process is the initial idea, and from that point all you have to do is execute. If you go to VC firms with a brilliant idea that you'll tell them about if they sign a nondisclosure agreement, most will tell you to get lost. The market price is less than the inconvenience of signing an NDA.

Another sign of how little the initial idea is worth is the number of startups that change their plan en route.

Microsoft's original plan was to make money selling programming languages, of all things.

Their current business model didn't occur to them until IBM dropped it in their lap five years later.

What it means specifically depends on the job: a salesperson who just won't take no for an answer; a hacker who will stay up till AM rather than go to bed leaving code with a bug in it; a PR person who will cold-call New York Times reporters on their cell phones; a graphic designer who feels physical pain when something is two millimeters out of place.

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