January 23, 2006
how to do what you love
From Paul Graham:
How To Do What You Love.
Also from Paul:
To do something well you have to like it. That idea is not exactly novel. We've got it down to four words: "Do what you love." But it's not enough just to tell people that. Doing what you love is complicated.
A Unifed Theory of VC Suckage.
The problem with VC funds is that they're funds. Like the managers of mutual funds or hedge funds, VCs get paid a percentage of the money they manage: about 2% a year in management fees, plus a percentage of the gains. So they want the fund to be huge-- hundreds of millions of dollars, if possible. But that means each partner ends up being responsible for investing a lot of money. And since one person can only manage so many deals, each deal has to be for multiple millions of dollars.
[Hat tip to Gavin Bowman
for the link.]
Posted by hugh macleod at January 23, 2006 8:50 AM
Well constructed essay I agree but IMHO should come with a very BIG public health warning.
I initially thought this would be a great article for my kids but its conclusions are both complex and very discouraging.
Last paragraph -
"Whichever route you take, expect a struggle. Finding work you love is very difficult. Most people fail. Even if you succeed, it's rare to be free to work on what you want till your thirties or forties."
Do I slit my wrists now or later?
I've just written a piece on this - conclusion: 'it doesn't have to be this way'.
Johnnie Moore chimed in too with useful insight.
Slit your wrists? Who said this was about you? ;-)
His point is, I believe, if doing what you love was easy, everybody would be doing it.
It's taken me years to even figure out what I love doing. Figuring out how to do it is the easy part.
Sure its not been easy - but surely better to question our approach and see if there isn't a better way than write a thoughtful analysis of the status quo.
What better way had you in mind, Nick?
Hugh, this is one I've really struggled with and I guess that's why it piques my interest.
The words in that last paragraph of Paul Graham seem to me a pretty good summing up of present reality - but they just leave me cold.
As Dave Parmet suggests, the problem is usually finding out actually what we do love and I'm sure for most of us that comes after a heavy dose of self reflection. Trouble us, it seems we never go there until we've either had a near death experience, journeyed through the 20 year syllabus of the school of hard knocks, or had a mid life crisis.
For Christ sake, why do we wait?
Maybe the problem lies in the title of the essay. 'How to find the work you love' - seems we're advising a journey outwards into the world (a 180 degree about face from self reflection and where insights might lie)
More questions than answers I'm afraid.
Look on the bright side, Nick... if you come up with an answer, a lot of twentysomethings will pay you big money for it ;-)
Ha ha! Looking on the bright side IS my problem. ;-)
it's all about discipline, working hard, and time management, and age is no concern i guess, who can guarantee that you'll live till tomorrow.
just keep working for it.
Doing what you love... a good piece, though it may seem pessimistic I do agree it's difficult to find. Is it valid to worry that maybe if you do what you love for a living, you'll get sick of it and stop loving it?
On a brighter note, I love working on my website so I won't complain too much... but everything has it's challenges! :)
I write here out small country Austria, with us call one Inwestmetpersonnen "grasshoppers", since they turn off and abroad shift no enterprises.