Are you an animal?

Lion's RoarRecently (today) I began reading Paul Graham’s stuff. I don’t know why it took me so long to find this guy, but he’s brilliant. I’ve added him to my Readable page.

While reading his article “How to Start a Startup,” I noticed a similar trend to the teachings of Guy Kawasaki and Joel Kurtzman (in Startups That Work). Specifically, that the idea is worth crap (Graham says “lass than the inconvenience of signing an NDA”), and the people are worth everything.

Moreso, Graham’s test of a person’s worth in a startup is whether they are “an animal.” I especially like this:

It means someone who takes their work a little too seriously; someone who does what they do so well that they pass right through professional and cross over into obsessive.

What it means specifically depends on the job: a salesperson who just won’t take no for an answer; a hacker who will stay up till 4:00 AM rather than go to bed leaving code with a bug in it; a PR person who will cold-call New York Times reporters on their cell phones; a graphic designer who feels physical pain when something is two millimeters out of place.

I laughed at the PR person who will cold-call New York Times reporters on their cell phones. The thing is, I know a guy who’s like that and I can’t stand him. He’s a salesman. Unfortunately for me, we don’t get along too well – because I would love to have a guy like him on my team.

So, what’s the lesson? Be nice to crazy people. You may want them on your team some day.

[tags]startup, marketing, business[/tags]

Nate Ritter lives in San Diego, CA who popularized the #hashtag and creates scaleable web applications for a living. He also does miles and point hacking to enable cheap travel for his family. More here →

2 Comments on "Are you an animal?"

  1. Amber says:

    I feel the pain when artwork is off by one pixel! I’m not alone in this, I’m sure. If we could package pain medication for bad design, we’d make a fortune.

  2. nate says:

    Amber, I’m glad I know you. I wish you and I worked together more like we did in the old days. :) We could take over the world. heh

 
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