Paul Graham: Why nerds are unpopular?
The main reason nerds are unpopular is that they have other things to think about. Their attention is drawn to books or the natural world, not fashions and parties. … The popular kids learned to be popular, and to want to be popular, the same way the nerds learned to be smart, and to want to be smart: from their parents
Paul Graham: What you’ll wish you’d known
The only real difference between adults and high school kids is that adults realize they need to get things done, and high school kids don’t. That realization hits most people around 23. But I’m letting you in on the secret early. So get to work. Maybe you can be the first generation whose greatest regret from high school isn’t how much time you wasted.
Paul Graham: How to start a startup?
You need three things to create a successful startup: to start with good people, to make something customers actually want, and to spend as little money as you can
Paul Graham: Undergraduation
Hacking. What should you do in college to become a good hacker? There are two main things you can do: become very good at programming, and learn a lot about specific, cool problems. These turn out to be equivalent, because each drives you to do the other. Everything. You can skip the social sciences, philosophy, and the various departments created recently in response to political pressures. Many of these fields talk about important problems, certainly. But the way they talk about them is useless. For example, philosophy talks, among other things, about our obligations to one another; but you can learn more about this from a wise grandmother or E. B. White than from an academic philosopher. Jobs. What you should learn to get a job depends on the kind you want. If you want to work in a big company, learn how to hack Blub on Windows. If you want to work at a cool little company or research lab, you’ll do better to learn Ruby on Linux. And if you want to start your own company, which I think will be more and more common, master the most powerful tools you can find, because you’re going to be in a race against your competitors, and they’ll be your horse.
Paul Graham: Great hackers
If it is possible to make yourself into a great hacker, the way to do it may be to make the following deal with yourself: you never have to work on boring projects (unless your family will starve otherwise), and in return, you’ll never allow yourself to do a half-assed job. All the great hackers I know seem to have made that deal, though perhaps none of them had any choice in the matter.
Paul Graham Hackers and painters
explains this world and the motivations of the people who occupy it. In clear, thoughtful prose that draws on illuminating historical examples, Graham takes readers on an unflinching exploration into what he calls “an intellectual Wild West.”
Joel Spolsky: The iceberg secret revealed
Customers Don’t Know What They Want. Stop Expecting Customers to Know What They Want. If you show a nonprogrammer a screen which has a user interface which is 100% beautiful, they will think the program is almost done. If you show a nonprogrammer a screen which has a user interface that is 90% worse, they will think that the program is 90% worse. The dotcom that has the cool, polished looking web site and about four web pages will get a higher valuation than the highly functional dotcom with 3700 years of archives and a default grey background. When you’re showing off, the only thing that matters is the screen shot. Make it 100% beautiful.