Living in a Cave

Too many startup people act like they are sitting in a cave inventing something utterly new.

Chances are, they’re not.

I constantly find myself amazed when I recommend a blog post, or a tactic to someone and they are like “Oh, that’s just what I need! I never thought to search for that.” Even more amazing is when someone labors day and night trying to figure out how to make a successful app yet has never heard of something like a/b testing.

I feel like these people must be living in caves.

One of the fun parts of the University of Chicago was that we constantly had to do research. This, plus being a programmer, entirely convinced me of the following:

“Whatever I am doing, a lot of other people have probably also tried to do it. Some of them have probably been way more successful than I have been so far. Some of them have probably written books or blog posts about how they successfully did what I am doing now. I can find these books and blog posts on Google and then apply what they say.”

The four sentences above are somehow not common knowledge, in my experience. I have no idea why.

Google, APIs, books, blogs, and most importantly other people are my external memory and processing units. We are all part of the same beowulf cluster! Use the fantastic abilities of the other nodes around you!