Friday, March 18, 2011

Of start-ups and hackers

So here's the deal - if you live in the Silicon valley, the start-up bug WILL catch you. It doesn't matter how much you hide, run, scream or fight it. It doesn't matter how risk-averse or certainty-oriented you think you are. It will find a way to sneak past your defenses, weasel it's way past your doubts and sink it's teeth into you good n proper! And that's what happened to me.

Hubby K has always been an entrepreneur at heart. Since I've known him, all he's wanted is to start his own company. All these years he's had to keep this ambition on a back-burner as he was too busy taking care of me. But, we've decided that the time has finally come. He's quitting his job, we've moved to San Francisco proper and we're starting our own start-up. This is it, folks!

In an effort to educate myself about the strange but exciting world of start-ups I decided to start reading up about it. Did you know that not only do techie-geeks live in their own peculiar universe of networks and virtual reality, but they have their own language too - hackers, angels, runways, cookies....and none of them mean what they would in simple English.

To quote security guru Bruce Schneier "A hacker is someone who thinks outside the box. It's someone who discards conventional wisdom, and does something else instead. It's someone who looks at the edge and wonders what's beyond...A hacker is someone who experiments with the limitations of systems for intellectual curiosity."

In short, being a hacker is a good thing.


Paul Graham of YCombinator, one of the biggest angel investors of start-ups, explains how they choose who to fund. They fund hackers. Here are their criteria: determination, flexibility, imagination, naughtiness and friendship.

And here's why I think hubby is born to be a hacker: these are exactly the qualities needed to successfully deal with living as a full-time care-taker of a patient for 8 long years. Never giving up - no matter what the odds, changing/improvising plans routinely, dreaming up new ways to make things possible... 

Currently we're in the process of applying for funding for our new start-up. I have a hundred examples of why K would be the perfect entrepreneur / hacker to back....just hope the investors see it as clearly as I do.

Image Credit: Labnol

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