## More on Entrepreneurship/Creators

Keagan Stokoe

6 months ago

## Generalists Create Startups; Specialists Scale Them

There’s a funny part of ‘__Steve Jobs__’ by Walter Isaacson where Jobs says that Bill Gates was more a copier than an innovator:

“Bill is basically unimaginative and has never invented anything, which is why I think he’s more comfortable now in philanthropy than technology. He just shamelessly ripped off other people’s ideas….He’d be a broader guy if he had dropped acid once or gone off to an ashram when he was younger.”

Gates lacked flavor. Nobody ever got excited about a Microsoft launch, despite their good products. Jobs had the world's best product taste. Apple vs. Microsoft.

A CEO's core job functions are all driven by taste: recruiting, vision, and company culture all require good taste. Depending on the type of company you want to build, know where you stand between Microsoft and Apple.

How can you improve your product judgment? How to acquire taste?

# Test and refine

Product development follows two parallel paths: the ‘customer obsession’ path and the ‘taste and iterate’ path.

The customer obsession path involves solving customer problems. Lean Startup frameworks show you what to build at each step.

Taste-and-iterate doesn't involve the customer. You iterate internally and rely on product leaders' taste and judgment.

Creative Selection by Ken Kocienda explains this method. In Creative Selection, demos are iterated and presented to product leaders. Your boss presents to their boss, and so on up to Steve Jobs. If you have good product taste, you can be a panelist.

The iPhone follows this path. Before seeing an iPhone, consumers couldn't want one. Customer obsession wouldn't have gotten you far because iPhone buyers didn't know they wanted one.

In The Hard Thing About Hard Things, Ben Horowitz writes:

“It turns out that is exactly what product strategy is all about — figuring out the right product is the innovator’s job, not the customer’s job. The customer only knows what she thinks she wants based on her experience with the current product. The innovator can take into account everything that’s possible, but often must go against what she knows to be true. As a result, innovation requires a combination of knowledge, skill, and courage.“

One path solves a problem the customer knows they have, and the other doesn't. Instead of asking a person what they want, observe them and give them something they didn't know they needed.

It's much harder. Apple is the world's most valuable company because it's more valuable. It changes industries permanently.

If you want to build superior products, use the iPhone of your industry.

# How to Improve Your Taste

## I. Work for a company that has taste.

People with the best taste in products, markets, and people are rewarded for building great companies. Tasteful people know quality even when they can't describe it. Taste isn't writable. It's feel-based.

Moving into a community that's already doing what you want to do may be the best way to develop entrepreneurial taste. Most company-building knowledge is tacit.

Joining a company you want to emulate allows you to learn its inner workings. It reveals internal patterns intuitively. Many successful founders come from successful companies.

Consumption determines taste. Excellence will refine you. This is why restauranteurs visit the world's best restaurants and serious painters visit Paris or New York. Joining a company with good taste is beneficial.

## 2. Possess a wide range of interests

“Edwin Land of Polaroid talked about the intersection of the humanities and science. I like that intersection. There’s something magical about that place… The reason Apple resonates with people is that there’s a deep current of humanity in our innovation. I think great artists and great engineers are similar, in that they both have a desire to express themselves.” — Steve Jobs

I recently discovered Edwin Land. Jobs modeled much of his career after Land's. It makes sense that Apple was inspired by Land.

A Triumph of Genius: Edwin Land, Polaroid, and the Kodak Patent War notes:

“Land was introverted in person, but supremely confident when he came to his ideas… Alongside his scientific passions, lay knowledge of art, music, and literature. He was a cultured person growing even more so as he got older, and his interests filtered into the ethos of Polaroid.”

Founders' philosophies shape companies. Jobs and Land were invested. It showed in the products their companies made. Different. His obsession was spreading Microsoft software worldwide. Microsoft's success is why their products are bland and boring.

Experience is important. It's probably why startups are built by generalists and scaled by specialists.

Jobs combined design, typography, storytelling, and product taste at Apple. Some of the best original Mac developers were poets and musicians. Edwin Land liked broad-minded people, according to his biography. Physicist-musicians or physicist-photographers.

Da Vinci was a master of art, engineering, architecture, anatomy, and more. He wrote and drew at the same desk. His genius is remembered centuries after his death. Da Vinci's statue would stand at the intersection of humanities and science.

We find incredibly creative people here. Superhumans. Designers, creators, and world-improvers. These are the people we need to navigate technology and lead world-changing companies. Generalists lead.

Sammy Abdullah

21 years ago

## How to properly price SaaS

Price Intelligently put out amazing content on pricing your SaaS product. This blog's link to the whole report is worth reading. Our key takeaways are below.

**Don't base prices on the competition.** Competitor-based pricing has clear drawbacks. Their pricing approach is yours. Your company offers customers something unique. Otherwise, you wouldn't create it. This strategy is static, therefore you can't add value by raising prices without outpricing competitors. Look, but don't touch is the competitor-based moral. You want to know your competitors' prices so you're in the same ballpark, but they shouldn't guide your selections. Competitor-based pricing also drives down prices.

**Value-based pricing wins.** This is customer-based pricing. Value-based pricing looks outward, not inward or laterally at competitors. Your clients are the best source of pricing information. By valuing customer comments, you're focusing on buyers. They'll decide if your pricing and packaging are right. In addition to asking consumers about cost savings or revenue increases, look at data like number of users, usage per user, etc.

**Value-based pricing increases prices**. As you learn more about the client and your worth, you'll know when and how much to boost rates. Every 6 months, examine pricing.

**Cloning top customers**. You clone your consumers by learning as much as you can about them and then reaching out to comparable people or organizations. You can't accomplish this without knowing your customers. Segmenting and reproducing them requires as much detail as feasible. Offer pricing plans and feature packages for 4 personas. The top plan should state Contact Us. Your highest-value customers want more advice and support.

**Question your 4 personas.** What's the one item you can't live without? Which integrations matter most? Do you do analytics? Is support important or does your company self-solve? What's too cheap? What's too expensive?

**Not everyone likes per-user pricing.** SaaS organizations often default to per-user analytics. About 80% of companies utilizing per-user pricing should use an alternative value metric because their goods don't give more value with more users, so charging for them doesn't make sense.

**At least 3:1 LTV/CAC**. Break even on the customer within 2 years, and LTV to CAC is greater than 3:1. Because customer acquisition costs are paid upfront but SaaS revenues accrue over time, SaaS companies face an early financial shortfall while paying back the CAC.

**ROI should be >20:1**. Indeed. Ensure the customer's ROI is 20x the product's cost. Microsoft Office costs $80 a year, but consumers would pay much more to maintain it.

**A/B Testing.** A/B testing is guessing. When your pricing page varies based on assumptions, you'll upset customers. You don't have enough customers anyway. A/B testing optimizes landing pages, design decisions, and other site features when you know the problem but not pricing.

**Don't discount**. It cheapens the product, makes it permanent, and increases churn. By discounting, you're ruining your pricing analysis.

The woman

7 months ago

## Because he worked on his side projects during working hours, my junior was fired and sued.

Many developers do it, but I don't approve.

Aren't many programmers part-time? Many work full-time but also freelance. If the job agreement allows it, I see no problem.

Tech businesses' policies vary. I have a friend in Google, Germany. According to his contract, he couldn't do an outside job. Google owns any code he writes while employed.

I was shocked. Later, I found that different Google regions have different policies.

A corporation can normally establish any agreement before hiring you. They're negotiable. When there's no agreement, state law may apply. In court, law isn't so simple.

I won't delve into legal details. Instead, let’s talk about the incident.

## How he was discovered

In one month, he missed two deadlines. His boss was frustrated because the assignment wasn't difficult to miss twice. When a team can't finish work on time, they all earn bad grades.

He annoyed the whole team. One team member (anonymous) told the project manager he worked on side projects during office hours. He may have missed deadlines because of this.

The project manager was furious. He needed evidence. The manager caught him within a week. The manager told higher-ups immediately.

**The company wanted to set an example**

Management could terminate him and settle the problem. But the company wanted to set an example for those developers who breached the regulation.

Because dismissal isn't enough. Every organization invests heavily in developer hiring. If developers depart or are fired after a few months, the company suffers.

The developer spent 10 months there. The employer sacked him and demanded ten months' pay. Or they'd sue him.

It was illegal and unethical. The youngster paid the fine and left the company quietly to protect his career.

**Right or wrong?**

Is the developer's behavior acceptable? Let's discuss developer malpractice.

During office hours, may developers work on other projects? If they're bored during office hours, they might not. Check the employment contract or state law.

If there's no employment clause, check country/state law. Because you can't justify breaking the law. Always. Most employers own their employees' work hours unless it's a contractual position.

If the company agrees, it's fine.

I also oppose companies that force developers to work overtime without pay.

Most states and countries have laws that help companies and workers. Law supports employers in this case. If any of the following are true, the company/employer owns the IP under California law.

using the business's resources

any equipment, including a laptop used for business.

company's mobile device.

offices of the company.

business time as well. This is crucial. Because this occurred in the instance of my junior.

Company resources are dangerous. Because your company may own the product's IP. If you have seen the TV show Silicon Valley, you have seen a similar situation there, right?

## Conclusion

Simple rule. I avoid big side projects. I work on my laptop on weekends for side projects. I'm safe. But I also know that my company might not be happy with that.

As an employee, I suppose I can. I can make side money. I won't promote it, but I'll respect their time, resources, and task. I also sometimes work extra time to finish my company’s deadlines.

## You might also like

Crypto Zen Monk

3 months ago

## How to DYOR in the world of cryptocurrency

## RESEARCH

We must create separate ideas and handle our own risks to be better investors. DYOR is crucial.

The only thing unsustainable is your cluelessness.

# DYOR: Why

On social media, there is a lot of false information and divergent viewpoints. All of these facts might be accurate, but they might not be appropriate for your portfolio and investment preferences.

You become a more knowledgeable investor thanks to DYOR.

DYOR improves your portfolio's risk management.

My DYOR resources are below.

# Messari: Major Blockchains' Activities

New York-based Messari provides cryptocurrency open data libraries.

Major blockchains offer 24-hour on-chain volume. https://messari.io/screener/most-active-chains-DB01F96B

## What to do

Invest in stable cryptocurrencies. Sort Messari by Real Volume (24H) or Reported Market Cap.

# Coingecko: Research on Ecosystems

Top 10 Ecosystems by Coingecko are good.

## What to do

Invest in quality.

Leading ten Ecosystems by Market Cap

There are a lot of coins in the ecosystem (second last column of above chart)

CoinGecko's Market Cap Crypto Categories Market capitalization-based cryptocurrency categories. Ethereum Ecosystem www.coingecko.com

# Fear & Greed Index for Bitcoin (FGI)

The Bitcoin market sentiment index ranges from 0 (extreme dread) to 100. (extreme greed).

## How to Apply

See market sentiment:

Extreme fright = opportunity to buy

Extreme greed creates sales opportunity (market due for correction).

# Glassnode

Glassnode gives facts, information, and confidence to make better Bitcoin, Ethereum, and cryptocurrency investments and trades.

Explore free and paid metrics.

## Stock to Flow Ratio: Application

The popular Stock to Flow Ratio concept believes scarcity drives value. Stock to flow is the ratio of circulating Bitcoin supply to fresh production (i.e. newly mined bitcoins). The S/F Ratio has historically predicted Bitcoin prices. PlanB invented this metric.

## Utilization: Ethereum Hash Rate

Ethereum miners produce an estimated number of hashes per second.

# ycharts: Hash rate of the Bitcoin network

# TradingView

TradingView is your go-to tool for investment analysis, watch lists, technical analysis, and recommendations from other traders/investors.

# Research for a cryptocurrency project

Two key questions every successful project must ask: Q1: What is this project trying to solve? Is it a big problem or minor? Q2: How does this project make money?

Each cryptocurrency:

Check out the white paper.

check out the project's internet presence on github, twitter, and medium.

the transparency of it

Verify the team structure and founders. Verify their LinkedIn profile, academic history, and other qualifications. Search for their names with scam.

Where to purchase and use cryptocurrencies Is it traded on trustworthy exchanges?

From CoinGecko and CoinMarketCap, we may learn about market cap, circulations, and other important data.

The project must solve a problem. Solving a problem is the goal of the founders.

Avoid projects that resemble multi-level marketing or ponzi schemes.

# Your use of social media

Use social media carefully or ignore it: Twitter, TradingView, and YouTube

Someone said this before and there are some truth to it. Social media bullish => short.

# Your Behavior

Investigate. Spend time. You decide. Worth it!

Only you have the best interest in your financial future.

Vitalik

1 year ago

## An approximate introduction to how zk-SNARKs are possible (part 2)

If tasked with the problem of coming up with a zk-SNARK protocol, many people would make their way to this point and then get stuck and give up. How can a verifier possibly check every single piece of the computation, without looking at each piece of the computation individually? But it turns out that there is a clever solution.

## Polynomials

Polynomials are a special class of algebraic expressions of the form:

- x+5
- x^4
- x^3+3x^2+3x+1
- 628x^{271}+318x^{270}+530x^{269}+…+69x+381

i.e. they are a sum of any (finite!) number of terms of the form cx^k

There are many things that are fascinating about polynomials. But here we are going to zoom in on a particular one: **polynomials are a single mathematical object that can contain an unbounded amount of information** (think of them as a list of integers and this is obvious). The fourth example above contained 816 digits of tau, and one can easily imagine a polynomial that contains far more.

Furthermore, **a single equation between polynomials can represent an unbounded number of equations between numbers**. For example, consider the equation A(x)+ B(x) = C(x). If this equation is true, then it's also true that:

- A(0)+B(0)=C(0)
- A(1)+B(1)=C(1)
- A(2)+B(2)=C(2)
- A(3)+B(3)=C(3)

And so on for every possible coordinate. You can even construct polynomials to deliberately represent sets of numbers so you can check many equations all at once. For example, suppose that you wanted to check:

- 12+1=13
- 10+8=18
- 15+8=23
- 15+13=28

You can use a procedure called Lagrange interpolation to construct polynomials A(x) that give (12,10,15,15) as outputs at some specific set of coordinates (eg. (0,1,2,3)), B(x) the outputs (1,8,8,13) on thos same coordinates, and so forth. In fact, here are the polynomials:

- A(x)=-2x^3+\frac{19}{2}x^2-\frac{19}{2}x+12
- B(x)=2x^3-\frac{19}{2}x^2+\frac{29}{2}x+1
- C(x)=5x+13

Checking the equation A(x)+B(x)=C(x) with these polynomials checks all four above equations at the same time.

## Comparing a polynomial to itself

You can even check relationships between a large number of adjacent evaluations of the same polynomial using a simple polynomial equation. This is slightly more advanced. Suppose that you want to check that, for a given polynomial F, F(x+2)=F(x)+F(x+1) with the integer range {0,1…89} (so if you *also* check F(0)=F(1)=1, then F(100) would be the 100th Fibonacci number)

As polynomials, F(x+2)-F(x+1)-F(x) would not be exactly zero, as it could give arbitrary answers outside the range x={0,1…98}. But we can do something clever. In general, there is a rule that if a polynomial P is zero across some set S=\{x_1,x_2…x_n\} then it can be expressed as P(x)=Z(x)*H(x), where Z(x)=(x-x_1)*(x-x_2)*…*(x-x_n) and H(x) is also a polynomial. In other words, **any polynomial that equals zero across some set is a (polynomial) multiple of the simplest (lowest-degree) polynomial that equals zero across that same set.**

Why is this the case? It is a nice corollary of polynomial long division: the factor theorem. We know that, when dividing P(x) by Z(x), we will get a quotient Q(x) and a remainder R(x) is strictly less than that of Z(x). Since we know that P is zero on all of S, it means that R has to be zero on all of S as well. So we can simply compute R(x) via polynomial interpolation, since it's a polynomial of degree at most n-1 and we know n values (the zeros at S). Interpolating a polynomial with all zeroes gives the zero polynomial, thus R(x)=0 and H(x)=Q(x).

Going back to our example, if we have a polynomial F that encodes Fibonacci numbers (so F(x+2)=F(x)+F(x+1) across x=\{0,1…98\}), then I can convince you that F *actually satisfies this condition* by proving that the polynomial P(x)=F(x+2)-F(x+1)-F(x) is zero over that range, by giving you the quotient:

H(x)=\frac{F(x+2)-F(x+1)-F(x)}{Z(x)}

Where Z(x) = (x-0)*(x-1)*…*(x-98).

You can calculate Z(x) yourself (ideally you would have it precomputed), check the equation, and if the check passes then F(x) satisfies the condition!

Now, step back and notice what we did here. We converted a 100-step-long computation into a single equation with polynomials. Of course, proving the N'th Fibonacci number is not an especially useful task, especially since Fibonacci numbers have a closed form. But you can use exactly the same basic technique, just with some extra polynomials and some more complicated equations, to encode arbitrary computations with an arbitrarily large number of steps.

see part 3

James White

6 months ago

## Ray Dalio suggests reading these three books in 2022.

An inspiring reading list

I'm no billionaire or hedge-fund manager. My bank account doesn't have millions. Ray Dalio's love of reading motivates me to think differently.

Here are some books recommended by Ray Dalio. Each influenced me. Hope they'll help you.

**Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari**

**Page Count:** 512**Rating on Goodreads: **4.39

My favorite nonfiction book.

Sapiens explores human evolution. It explains how Homo Sapiens developed from hunter-gatherers to a dominant species. Amazing!

Sapiens will teach you about human history. Yuval Noah Harari has a follow-up book on human evolution.

My favorite book quotes are:

The tendency for luxuries to turn into necessities and give rise to new obligations is one of history's few unbreakable laws.

Happiness is not dependent on material wealth, physical health, or even community. Instead, it depends on how closely subjective expectations and objective circumstances align.

The romantic comparison between today's industry, which obliterates the environment, and our forefathers, who coexisted well with nature, is unfounded. Homo sapiens held the record among all organisms for eradicating the most plant and animal species even before the Industrial Revolution. The unfortunate distinction of being the most lethal species in the history of life belongs to us.

**The Power Of Habit by Charles Duhigg**

**Page Count: **375**Rating on Goodreads: **4.13

Great book: The Power Of Habit. It illustrates why habits are everything. The book explains how healthier habits can improve your life, career, and society.

The Power of Habit rocks. It's a great book on productivity. Its suggestions helped me build healthier behaviors (and drop bad ones).

Read ASAP!

My favorite book quotes are:

Change may not occur quickly or without difficulty. However, almost any behavior may be changed with enough time and effort.

People who exercise begin to eat better and produce more at work. They are less smokers and are more patient with friends and family. They claim to feel less anxious and use their credit cards less frequently. A fundamental habit that sparks broad change is exercise.

Habits are strong but also delicate. They may develop independently of our awareness or may be purposefully created. They frequently happen without our consent, but they can be altered by changing their constituent pieces. They have a much greater influence on how we live than we realize; in fact, they are so powerful that they cause our brains to adhere to them above all else, including common sense.

**Tribe Of Mentors by Tim Ferriss**

**Page Count:** 561**Rating on Goodreads: **4.06

Unusual book structure. It's worth reading if you want to learn from successful people.

The book is Q&A-style. Tim questions everyone. Each chapter features a different person's life-changing advice. In the book, Pressfield, Willink, Grylls, and Ravikant are interviewed.

Amazing!

My favorite book quotes are:

According to one's courage, life can either get smaller or bigger.

Don't engage in actions that you are aware are immoral. The reputation you have with yourself is all that constitutes self-esteem. Always be aware.

People mistakenly believe that focusing means accepting the task at hand. However, that is in no way what it represents. It entails rejecting the numerous other worthwhile suggestions that exist. You must choose wisely. Actually, I'm just as proud of the things we haven't accomplished as I am of what I have. Saying no to 1,000 things is what innovation is.