Wrote an email a while back while on a trip to Amsterdam. The gifs were added later.
If you are receiving this email it’s because of the following reasons. After reading this don’t surf the web, think for 15-20 minutes and then respond.
- You are one of the smartest people I know. You might not be an Olympiad winner(I know some of you are) but you are really smart.
- You are discontent with life. You feel there’s something missing and that you could be doing a lot more.
- I felt a little comfortable mailing you.
I guess we can’t debate point one. About point two :-
- If you are extremely content. Please stop reading and just wish me luck.
- You think you are already onto something. Just let me know what you are up.
- If you have a sense of dissatisfaction please continue reading.
Why is it that the smartest people I know are doing really average things in life? There’s a blog I read before the starting of this trip that I’ll link that conveys this point.
Doing what most people do is the definition of average.
We are really young in life and we have really cushy jobs. We should be grateful for that but we should strive to do better. We can have these jobs whenever we want.
The worst thing to do is to continue to walk on this path and not take any risk. To be honest there isn’t any risk, with our skills and the industry we are in we should be able to find good jobs fairly easily.
Ok moving to the point
For anyone with a sense of patriotism. Here’s a way to think about it :- if all the smart people that you know did what they think was their calling then some of them would succeed. Your nation would grow just because somebody wins. Those who failed can go try again or go back to being average, that’s okay. They tried, they learnt a lot. Now scale this for humanity. Imagine how fast we could go if all of us were doing what we believed in. A lot of us would fail but it’s a numbers game.
Today I realized that we should be playing to win. We might lose. But if a lot more of us play to win, eventually someone will win. That’s the only way forward. We need a million Elon Musk’s, we need to do our bit for the world. You don’t need to be extremely smart to be successful in this world, just look at the leader of the free world. Or any politician, you just need to have a strong bias towards action. You must not be a joker. You might still fail but that’s okay. It’s a numbers game. If all of us in this mailing list try, some of us will be millionaires.
We all need to have goals. My goal is to see children being born on Mars in my life time. People who are born there, who visit earth every now and then.
Think nothing can get bigger than Amazon? Amazon is limited by earth scale. Imagine when people start living across planets, Amazon will be more than a hundred trillion dollars. Spreading across space is the only way forward. Otherwise we collapse as a species mostly because capitalism stops working and even if it works eventually the sun cools down.
Imagine a future where cloud flare has nodes on the Moon/Mars so that people there get better internet. Now this is the ideal future, the 10 star experience that Brian Chesky talks about. For me to contribute to this future I need influence and money. For both of them I can start working on solving other interesting problems in the world that aren’t extremely capital intensive.
Your calling might be something else. Perhaps not starting a startup That’s okay. Not having a bias towards action is the mistake that you are making.
So we have established that the future can possibly be at a higher scale than what we have today and as smart people we have a chance building that future. I like to imagine Mars to be the next America, humans love to explore.
So let’s start small. I have decided to work for any of you on this mailing list for free on an idea that you vaguely feel about. That idea might not be the calling, that’s okay. Stop romancing the perfect idea. Any thing that you work on now is much better than your daily job.
I’ve a few ideas as well and if you are ears I’m open to discuss.
You might not want to work with me. I know you have your reasons. Let me know if this email provoked you to do what you eventually did.
I want you to be trying things. I want you to be doing things. I want you to do the most primal thing man can do, explore.
There’s this tricky spot. So if we quit and meetup and decide to work on something we will definitely work but we might work on things out of desperation. If we continue working where we are we might not ever start. The best thing to do would be to use the free time we have to hack on things and try a lot of things very quickly.
idea_status = false while idea_status != pass idea = ideas.pop(0) idea_status = idea.test()
Look at the loop again. There isn’t a check for the size of the idea queue, you guys are smart. There are a lot of ideas, lot less time.
Now as soon as you break out of the loop. Relentlessly pursue the idea that passed your initial test as long as some metric still keeps supporting this idea. Needless to say, you are already out if your normal job after that initial idea passes whatever tests you have.
I guess if we get into that loop that would do a lot of good for the world as a whole.
Now to solve this tricky situation mentioned above. I propose a solution, those of us who quit probably already have some run way. If you want some funding we can find people in my network and your network who would fund you.
Those who are working can help the community by funding the idea people depending on their risk appetite.