Watch a VC use my name to sell a con.

Normally I just ignore navel-gazing tech-industry articles like this, but people keep sending it to me, so I guess this guy is famous or something. Michael Arrington posted this article, "Startups Are Hard. So Work More, Cry Less, And Quit All The Whining" which quotes extensively from my 1994 diary.

He's trying to make the point that the only path to success in the software industry is to work insane hours, sleep under your desk, and give up your one and only youth, and if you don't do that, you're a pussy. He's using my words to try and back up that thesis.

I hate this, because it's not true, and it's disingenuous.

What is true is that for a VC's business model to work, it's necessary for you to give up your life in order for him to become richer.

Follow the fucking money. When a VC tells you what's good for you, check your wallet, then count your fingers.

He's telling you the story of, "If you bust your ass and don't sleep, you'll get rich" because the only way that people in his line of work get richer is if young, poorly-socialized, naive geniuses believe that story! Without those coat-tails to ride, VCs might have to work for a living. Once that kid burns out, they'll just slot a new one in.

I did make a bunch of money by winning the Netscape Startup Lottery, it's true. So did most of the early engineers. But the people who made 100x as much as the engineers did? I can tell you for a fact that none of them slept under their desk. If you look at a list of financially successful people from the software industry, I'll bet you get a very different view of what kind of sleep habits and office hours are successful than the one presented here.

So if your goal is to enrich the Arringtons of the world while maybe, if you win the lottery, scooping some of the groundscore that they overlooked, then by all means, bust your ass while the bankers and speculators cheer you on.

Instead of that, I recommend that you do what you love because you love doing it. If that means long hours, fantastic. If that means leaving the office by 6pm every day for your underwater basket-weaving class, also fantastic.

Update: Followup here.

Tags: , , , ,


If you truly understood my needs, you'd buy me a Utah Teapot.

Utanalog is cast in white porcelain and available in a limited edition, please contact us for pricing if you want to own a piece of materialized computer history. Different resolutions finishes and colors (white, black, clayrender grey, red, green and blue) will follow later.

Previously, previously.

Tags: , , ,

Also a Battlefield: Love.

Senators Demand the Military Lock Up American Citizens in a "Battlefield" They Define as Being Right Outside Your Window

In support of this harmful bill, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) explained that the bill will "basically say in law for the first time that the homeland is part of the battlefield" and people can be imprisoned without charge or trial "American citizen or not." Another supporter, Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) also declared that the bill is needed because "America is part of the battlefield."
Tags: , ,
Current Music: Ume -- Hive-Mind ♬

Bring me the head of John the Baptist

Ken Russell died today, and so I think you should take the time to watch this clip from his 1988 movie Salome's Last Dance (or, as we know it today, "The Hubba Hubba Revue") --

He made some amazing, twisted movies. Everyone will be talking about Tommy, but I highly recommend Gothic, Lair of the White Worm, Salome and most especially Altered States.

Scene missing! Some videos in this post have disappeared. If you know of an accessible version of this video or this video or this video, please mail me so that I can update this post.
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Replace the pleather iCal skin with plain gray

Oh yes, a thousand times yes: MacNix.

Tags: ,

DNA Lounge: Wherein the ATM gets a much-needed facelift.

Devon and Alexis finally figured out how to re-hack our ATM! Remember back in 2001 when I used the "advertising messages" feature of our ATM to make it display things like DESTROY CAPITALISM while you're waiting for your money? (As seen in Adbusters #45!) Well, back in 2006 we were forced to "upgrade" that ATM (I think it was part of some bank-mandated firedrill after one of their crypto algorithms was cracked) and that new version dragged us, kicking and screaming, from 1976 technology to 1981 technology: it was no longer possible to just type in several pages of snarky comments from the ATM keypad. Instead, you were expected to upload those screens as images instead of typing in text.

And by images, I mean 320×240, 1-bit, amber on purple images. And the only way to get them into the ATM was by using some hard-to-find Windows 95 software to convert them to their proprietary image format, and then using a modem to dial up to the ATM and upload them with Z-Modem.

After many hours of trying, we never actually got that last part to work, and eventually gave up.

Well, a couple of years ago, that ATM (a Tranax Mini-Bank 1000) was replaced with a Nautilus Hyosung NY-1800, letting us make the jump from 1981 technology all the way to 1997 technology! This ATM -- once you have acquired the secret software and proper proprietary serial cable -- lets you upload 480×234 8-bit images! But the screen has non-square pixels -- no, seriously, this is a thing that still happens in the Twenty-First Century. I had to pre-smoosh my images to make the circles be circular.

The software is hard to find because they don't want to give it to anyone who hasn't flown to Texas and paid the extortion to take their class to become an Authorized Repair Technician or something. Even though I own this hardware outright, they won't give me the software required to operate it. This kind of nonsense should be illegal.

Anyway, we hax0red the bastard, and now it's hilarious. Here's a video:

Also, photos are up of the Hubba Hubba Revue Murder show, and a late arrival from the Dismantled show back in August.

I understand the amount of baby powder those guys left in the lounge was unprecedented. Apparently their show required that they roll around in it first. (And no, "baby powder" is not a euphemism in this case.)


Pensive Mechanical Bodhisattva

More. Previously, previously, previously, previously.


  • Previously