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What would you like to do?
I love Legos. Always have, always will.
Back when I was younger, I could build anything with Legos. If I could dream it up, the parts I needed were somewhere in that never-ending bin of childhood glee. Despite being nothing more than a few pennies of plastic, these magic bricks synergistically assembled into futuristic spaceships, mechanized armies, towering skyscrapers and much more.
Sadly, I grew older. Reality began to encroach on my well-laid plans for conquest of the universe. My insatiable desire to create never left, and so I turned to programming. In fact, the new constraints reality inflicted added to the challenge, and I enjoyed creating all the more for it. The best part was that it was so wonderfully real - I could run my program and watch all the parts come together and do something.
The funny thing about all of this is that the desire to build, while strong, was not the root of my creative drive. What propelled me more were ideas. I've always had crazy ideas. Some are outside the boundaries of reality, but most are on the edge of just-might-work-if-the-planets-align possibility.
And then I read an essay that would ultimately change my life: How To Make Wealth by Paul Graham. (It's a must-read if you have any interest in building things and technology.) In it, Graham details how small teams of people just like me can create massive new technologies just like Google.
Suddenly, I realized I didn't have to wait for the planets to align. I had the potential to build amazing things - products, teams, companies - right in the palm of my hand.
That was two years ago. Since then I've (almost) finished my degree, moved to San Francisco and taken a job with one of those very same small technology companies.
My ideas have only
Moving to SF
-What's that like?
What do I want to build?
A space elevator. You can blame my dad for that one. I was raised on a diet of classic science fiction (Clarke, Niven, Asimov).
You ever have one of those crazy ideas? The kind that just might work but are so far fetched that they'll probably never happen unless a miracle occurs?
I've got one. And a miracle just landed in my lap - I've won the Listerv Lottery.
You see, while I'm currently a programmer at a San Francisco startup, I'm a transplant. I hail from the wilds of upstate New York. It's a beautiful area, you should see it sometime.
Somehow, Silicon Valley ended up in San Francisco, which is horridly expensive. Personally, I think that this hurts long-term innovation. Ideas that require a lot of time to mature are discarded in favor of get-rich-quick startups that don't really benefit humanity. Worse still, founders of companies bail during inevitable hard times as the point where the money runs out quickly approaches.
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