It used to be a fundamental requirement that you learned an extensive amount of SQL before you were able to start working on database-backed applications. It was taken as self-evident that you needed to speak the native language of the database before you were qualified to use it. And better yet, you really ought to understand and care about your particular brand of database engine.
The Real World must be a truly depressing place to live. It’s apparently a realm where new ideas, unfamiliar approaches, and foreign concepts always lose. I’m told that the only thing that works in The Real World is what its inhabitants already know and already do. No matter how flawed or inefficient that way may be.
But the cognitive dissonance between “I sell life insurance” and “I believe I’m healing the world” is so loud that it invites intervention. Someone to slap you across the face, shake you violently, and yell “snap out of it, mate! Snap out of it!!!”. The absurdity of the juxtaposition is the subconsciousness wailing in distress.
Yet somehow arguments grounded in production code are rare. Few people seem willing to lift the curtain on such codebases, which is a damn shame. Because that’s where the real wisdom is buried. That’s where people have been forced to make actual trade-offs between competing patterns and practices. It’s those trade-offs and the circumstances around them that are valuable.
This is one of the reasons why it’s so rare for online arguments between strangers to go anywhere productive. Unless the topic of discussion can be reduced to purely logic points — and really, what topic can? — you’re going to have to engaged with all the extracurriculars. But how can you, if you don’t know what they are, because you don’t know the other person’s circumstances or experiences?
Whenever a startup goes out of business, the first thing I get curious about are their costs, not their revenues. If their revenues are non-existent, or barely there, then they were fucked anyway. But beyond that, the first thing I look at is their employee count. Your startup with 38 people didn’t make it? No wonder. Your startup that was paying $52,000/month rent didn’t make it? No wonder. Your startup that spend 6 figures on your brand didn’t make it? No wonder.
Exponential growth gets all the glory. Every startup story that lands on the cover of a magazine has a hockey-stick chart to flaunt. Yes, disruption is driven by such violent expansion, and the world needs some disruption some of the time. But for the other 360 days out of the year, what it also needs is some modest, linear growth.
So. Things are good. Really good, actually. Which invariably invites the question I get asked so often: WHAT’S NEXT?! Which is really a question of WHAT’S MORE? What else are you going to do in addition to all the shit you’re already doing? It’s so ingrained in our entrepreneurial culture that you must always be on a conquest. Once a set of territories have been subdued, you’re honor-bound to push further north.
But as I read through the replies from the few dozen people who answered the question on any given day, I was faced with the dilemma of the clap. If I applauded an update from Sam yesterday, but don’t today, does that mean I’m expressing discontent with the most recent work? If I don’t applaud for Javan on the same day as I applaud for Sam, does that mean I’m parting favor of one over the other?