smallness alone. What made the Dutch rich in 1600 was the discovery of shipbuilding and navigation techniques that enabled them to dominate the seas of the Far East. These tools were fast, powerful, elegant, and extremely demanding of the user. They have warped and corrupted their production workflow into using Microsoft Word.doc files as their raw substrate, even though this is a file format ill-suited for editorial or typesetting chores. Of course, all other things often are not equal: the able person may not care about money, or may prefer the stability of a large company. For the most part they punt. Together with Mark Frauenfelder, of Boing Boing fame, and Claudia Dawson, our webmaster and my assistant, we give 6 very short recommendations each week. Measurement and Leverage To get rich you need to get yourself in a situation with two things, measurement and leverage. This essay is about how to make money by creating wealth and getting paid for. And if they are paying you x dollars a year, then on average you must be contributing at least x dollars a year worth of work, or the company will be spending more than it makes, and will go out of business. But a more serious problem is that the company has no way of measuring the value of your work. It imposes its own concept of how a document should be structured upon the writer, a structure best suited to business letters and reports (the tasks for which it is used by the majority of its users).
In a specialized society, most of the things you need, you can't make for yourself. If one likes you, you become a member of this new group. In fact John Smith's life has changed more than he realizes. Many employees would work harder if they could get paid for. Technology Leverage Startups offer anyone a way to be in a situation with measurement and leverage. Treat a startup as an optimization problem in which performance is measured by number of users. It's only when you're deliberately looking for hard problems, as a way to use speed to the greatest advantage, that you take on this kind of project. We delighted in forcing bigger, slower competitors to follow us over difficult ground. One way to put up barriers to entry is through patents. The first was the rule of law. Hackers often donate their work by writing open source software that anyone can use for free. Engineers will work on sexy projects like fighter planes and moon rockets for ordinary salaries, but more mundane technologies like light bulbs or semiconductors levithian thesis have to be developed by entrepreneurs.
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