Essay about something that changed my life - essays on citizenship









essay about something that changed my life

essay about something that changed my lifeEssay about something that changed my life -And what getting a job seems to mean is joining another institution. You pick the companies you want to work for and apply to join them.The Proposition Economically, you can think of a startup as a way to compress your whole working life into a few years.It's also obvious to programmers that there are huge variations in the rate at which wealth is created.Many people seem to continue to believe something like this well into adulthood. And in fact, when you look at it this way, you wonder why anyone would think there was.It works as a medium of exchange, however, because its rarity is guaranteed by the U. The disadvantage is that it tends to obscure what trade really means.You could probably work twice as many hours as a corporate employee, and if you focus you can probably get three times as much done in an hour.If IBM hadn't made this mistake, Microsoft would still have been a successful company, but it could not have grown so big so fast.For example, one way to make a million dollars would be to work for the Post Office your whole life, and save every penny of your salary.And why do they so often work on developing new technology?Wealth is whatever people want, and not dying is certainly something we want.What a Job Is In industrialized countries, people belong to one institution or another at least until their twenties.If someone sat down and wrote a web browser that didn't suck (a fine idea, by the way), the world would be that much richer.The advantage of creating wealth, as a way to get rich, is not just that it's more legitimate (many of the other methods are now illegal) but that it's more straightforward. Money Is Not Wealth If you want to create wealth, it will help to understand what it is. If you want a potato or a pencil or a place to live, you have to get it from someone else.And the way most companies make money is by creating wealth.Craftsmen The people most likely to grasp that wealth can be created are the ones who are good at making things, the craftsmen. But with the rise of industrialization there are fewer and fewer craftsmen.That's been a reliable way to get rich for hundreds of years.When John Smith finishes school he is expected to get a job.Belonging to such a group becomes part of your identity: name, age, role, institution.A good piece of software is, in itself, a valuable thing. Those characters you type are a complete, finished product.If one person gets more, someone else has to get less.essay about something that changed my lifeA mediocre programmer over the same period will generate zero or even negative wealth (e.g. This is why so many of the best programmers are libertarians.Microsoft at that stage had little leverage over IBM. If IBM had required an exclusive license, as they should have, Microsoft would still have signed the deal.No doubt Bill did everything he could to steer IBM into making that blunder, and he has done an excellent job of exploiting it, but if there had been one person with a brain on IBM's side, Microsoft's future would have been very different.May 2004 (This essay was originally published in Hackers & Painters.) If you wanted to get rich, how would you do it?A programmer can sit down in front of a computer and create wealth.What leads people astray here is the abstraction of money. But kids are so bad at making things that they consider home-made presents to be a distinct, inferior, sort of thing to store-bought ones-- a mere expression of the proverbial thought that counts.All they had to do was play hardball with licensees and copy more innovative products reasonably promptly.And so it's clearer to programmers that wealth is something that's made, rather than being distributed, like slices of a pie, by some imaginary Daddy.Here is a brief sketch of the economic proposition.The intermediate stuff-- the medium of exchange-- can be anything that's rare and portable.Nearly all companies exist to do something people want.From that point, all Microsoft had to do was execute.When those far removed from the creation of wealth-- undergraduates, reporters, politicians-- hear that the richest 5% of the people have half the total wealth, they tend to think injustice!If one likes you, you become a member of this new group.Ditto for many other kinds of companies that don't make anything physical.Like all back-of-the-envelope calculations, this one has a lot of wiggle room. If $3 million a year seems high, remember that we're talking about the limit case: the case where you not only have zero leisure time but indeed work so hard that you endanger your health. There is a conservation law at work here: if you want to make a million dollars, you have to endure a million dollars' worth of pain.Instead of working at a low intensity for forty years, you work as hard as you possibly can for four.It would still have meant a lot of money for them, and IBM could easily have gotten an operating system elsewhere.Most of the greatest fortunes have probably involved several of these. But they are not the same thing, and unless you plan to get rich by counterfeiting, talking about making money can make it harder to understand how to make money. In a specialized society, most of the things you need, you can't make for yourself.And that's what you do, as well, when you go to work for a company. essay about something that changed my life Imagine the stress of working for the Post Office for fifty years.In our world, you sink or swim, and there are no excuses.Everyone in a company works together to create wealth, in the sense of making more things people want. the people in the mailroom or the personnel department) work at one remove from the actual making of stuff. They literally think the product, one line at a time.They never had to bet the company on a bold decision.Then there is one more multiple: how much smarter are you than your job description expects you to be? Combine all these multipliers, and I'm claiming you could be 36 times more productive than you're expected to be in a random corporate job.You do tend to get a certain bulk discount if you buy the economy-size pain, but you can't evade the fundamental conservation law. It's not a good idea to use famous rich people as examples, because the press only write about the very richest, and these tend to be outliers.Socially, a company looks much like college, but the deeper you go into the underlying reality, the more different it gets.Companies can be so specialized that this similarity is concealed, but it is not only manufacturing companies that create wealth. Remember that magic machine that could make you cars and cook you dinner and so on?Instead IBM ended up using all its power in the market to give Microsoft control of the PC standard.A startup is a small company that takes on a hard technical problem.Lots of people get rich knowing nothing more than that.What a company does, and has to do if it wants to continue to exist, is earn money.I can remember believing, as a child, that if a few rich people had all the money, it left less for everyone else.You don't have to know physics to be a good pitcher.Historically metals have been the most common, but recently we've been using a medium of exchange, called the dollar, that doesn't physically exist. The advantage of a medium of exchange is that it makes trade work.There are plenty of other ways to get money, including chance, speculation, marriage, inheritance, theft, extortion, fraud, monopoly, graft, lobbying, counterfeiting, and prospecting. It is a kind of shorthand: money is a way of moving wealth, and in practice they are usually interchangeable.This fallacy is usually there in the background when you hear someone talking about how x percent of the population have y percent of the wealth. In restoring your old car you have made yourself richer. Kids know, without knowing they know, that they can create wealth.A great programmer, on a roll, could create a million dollars worth of wealth in a couple weeks.If you have to introduce yourself, or someone else describes you, it will be as something like, John Smith, age 10, a student at such and such elementary school, or John Smith, age 20, a student at such and such college.This essay is about how to make money by creating wealth and getting paid for it. Whereas if you were in the middle of Antarctica, where there is nothing to buy, it wouldn't matter how much money you had. But if wealth is the important thing, why does everyone talk about making money? essay about something that changed my life I think your best bet would be to start or join a startup.There are a few differences: life is not as much fun, and you get paid, instead of paying, as you did in college.The solution societies find, as they get more specialized, is to make the trade into a two-step process.This pays especially well in technology, where you earn a premium for working fast.Why are there so many startups selling new drugs or computer software, and none selling corn oil or laundry detergent?It would not be so useful if it delivered your dinner to a random location in central Asia.At Viaweb we had one programmer who was a sort of monster of productivity.If you make violins, and none of the local farmers wants one, how will you eat?You should get another multiple of two, at least, by eliminating the drag of the pointy-haired middle manager who would be your boss in a big company.Hackers often donate their work by writing open source software that anyone can use for free.But the similarities feel greater than the differences.If you plan to start a startup, then whether you realize it or not, you're planning to disprove the Pie Fallacy. So although there may be, in certain specific moments (like your family, this month) a fixed amount of money available to trade with other people for things you want, there is not a fixed amount of wealth in the world. Wealth has been getting created and destroyed (but on balance, created) for all of human history. Instead of sitting on your butt next summer, you could spend the time restoring your car to pristine condition. The world is-- and you specifically are-- one pristine old car the richer. If you need to give someone a present and don't have any money, you make one.If you're a good hacker in your mid twenties, you can get a job paying about $80,000 per year.In fact John Smith's life has changed more than he realizes.One of the biggest remaining groups is computer programmers.If wealth means what people want, companies that move things also create wealth.I am much the richer for the operating system Free BSD, which I'm running on the computer I'm using now, and so is Yahoo, which runs it on all their servers.I remember watching what he did one long day and estimating that he had added several hundred thousand dollars to the market value of the company.But money is just the intermediate stage-- just a shorthand-- for whatever people want. There is, in any normal family, a fixed amount of money at any moment. When wealth is talked about in this context, it is often described as a pie. When you're talking about the amount of money in one family's bank account, or the amount available to a government from one year's tax revenue, this is true.An experienced programmer would be more likely to think is that all? essay about something that changed my life It's also obvious to programmers that there are huge variations in the rate at which wealth is created. essay about something that changed my life

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