How will you measure your life?
I used to be the captain of an imaginary ship at age seven, navigating the turbulent waters of revolution and war. At fourteen, the ship became real, and I became a multi-cultured immigrant adventurer. At twenty one I picked up engineering, and started shipping tech products. When I reached twenty eight, I called myself a pirate, an entrepreneur. And my next milestone, at thirty five, is to write advisory essays to help others dream up adventures of their own. You only live once; what will you have left undone in your final moment?
These essays, generously published at times by Forbes.com, Quora Weekly, Carnegie Mellon University and Social Media fans, deal with surviving and thriving on an entrepreneurial journey:
When you treat employees as followers, they will follow the first person who quits to become his own leader.
or Newton's law of universal job gravitation
A day inside the mind of an entrepreneur turning off autopilot: Worries pass in an hour. Regrets stay for life. And choices make sense in retrospect.
Entrepreneurship is the art of living; not by reading instructions, watching someone else, dreaming, modeling or planning. It’s to live as a painter.
You don't get over the fear. You run towards it, with your knees buckling.
Simple, unexpectedly good, concrete, credible and emotional stories, also known as moral parables, are the most viral form of transformational content
Prune your past if you can. And don’t predict the future. Life is real only at this moment. The only thing keeping you from living here is you.
In the startup's ideation stage, outside expectations are the main cause of failure. If you cannot afford to make a mistake, you will not create.
What kind of tasks or skills make them so valuable? And how can you replicate their success?
You get as much as you negotiate. The non-negotiator will in the end become the victim.
How do you manage your time? Does the company offer any special working hours for you as a master's student? Do they encourage or help financially?
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Technical interview questions
My growing collection of problems for engineers preparing for a technical interview at Google, Facebook, Microsoft, or Amazons of the world:
Getting paid for seven days with a single bar of gold
An employer hires you to work for 7 days and has a gold bar with 7 segments to pay you with. How do you get them to not break it to pieces?
Find the odd ball among eight balls
You are given eight balls that look exactly the same, and a balance to weigh them against each other. Find the odd ball by weighing only twice?
Google search results for the top 1000 highest ranking URLs
You have trillions of URLs stored uniquely, without order, across numerous machines, each with a score. Find the 1000 URLs with the highest scores.
Return true if input is a Prime number
You are given n, a positive integer. Return true if n is a prime number, and false if it's not.
Prisoner's Dilemma With Blindfolds: a math teaser
Seven people are blindfolded and given unique colored hats at a roundtable. How should they cooperate for at least one to guess her own color?
Rule-based HTML compilation
Given an HTML with messed up tag nesting, output the correct and unambiguous version of the HTML.
Is the given String a repeated sub-pattern?
Given a string, return whether it is made of a perfectly repeated string pattern.
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Successful MBA-oriented founders who validate their business model with a prototype and traction are shocked when hitting the wall. The product dies right when the market finally accepts it; the contractors start acting flakey; and the investors are suddenly unwilling to invest in tech resources right when they're needed.
Traction seems to kill a startup before it's reborn.
The best founders, those who validate cheaply, are surprised the most to find out what investors already know: A single invested tech cofounder can replace an entire team of engineering contractors and build a scalable version of their product faster, cheaper and with more versatility than the original. Tech partners are different from engineers: they put their skin in the game.
When the customer complaints start pouring in at 4am and the outsourced team is unresponsive, this point finally sinks in: "I need a tech co-founder, and this company needs a technical leader."
I have provided value to innovative organizations, such as:
I am always happy to meet for coffee in San Francisco to discuss your project. I am confident that my extensive experience will ensure you get a positive return on your investment.