I used to console myself that the journey is all that matters. Bullshit. The only thing that matters is the result. Sure, the journey can be memorable, but any tumultuous journey can be equally unforgettable. Is it not even better to partner great memories with a great pay off?

Not everybody is destined for success

Reality is harsh, and the society ends up preaching feel good sermons that are applicable for everyone -- that if you work hard, you will succeed. That statement is however, not true. Someone with a remarkably low IQ will probably never make a breakthrough in quantum physics regardless of how determined he/she is. And at the end of the long grind, the rest of us will say: "at least you tried." When really, the right recommendation was to tell the aspiring physicist that he might be better off working on something that he is good at and have a reasonable shot at success.

I was one of them hipsters

For far too long, I tried to think about the world to be a fairer place. But it is not.

  • I wanted to believe that if I was nicer to my staff, that they will stick it through the hard times with me. Not true.
  • I wanted to believe that if I work hard and persist in my ideas, people will invest in me. Not true.
  • I wanted to believe that building a great product was all that matters. Not true. People will instead invest in a charismatic liar than a great engineer.

Hard work without aptitude leads to nothing. Aptitude matters. The real world is superficial and unfair.

Tweaking my personal beliefs

Have you noticed that the founders of unicorns have super-rich parents? As I aged and had life wrangle dry the naive faith I had in this world, I learned a few things.

  1. People will leave a company, so pick processes over people. The counter-intuitive thing here is that once you have a excellent company packed with great processes with a great business model, people stay.
  2. Do not do things the right way. Cheat your way to success. Find that one hack to get you your first thousand users or dollars as fast as possible. It will save you a lot of money and headache.
  3. Most investors do not know what they are doing. They invest in looks more than the product, even if they claim otherwise.
  4. I suck at a lot of things, such as sales. But there are some things I am unfairly good at. I am learning to exploit them more.
  5. Money matters (if you are running a business)

And lastly, get to success without putting in effort or risking anything. It makes for a better story anyway.

Like how I passed my final theory (driving) test without buying the book or studying. I passed it by memorizing all the answers in the practical test.