Saturday, July 11, 2009

Two Years Later

In June 2007, Wiley and I started reading Marc Andreessen's blog.

I don't remember how we found it (though my guess is that Wiley did the initial finding and I instigated the daily ranting and raving about it at the dirty little Beijing noodle shop where we ate most of our lunches that summer).

I do remember that it felt overwhelming relevant. Instantly. We were a year deep in what we already fully acknowledged (most of the time, anyway) to be a tragic comedy of a dot com startup experience.

The founders were clearly in over their heads. We had way too much money, way too many employees, and were making way too little progress toward the kickass language tutoring service we thought we were building. And we were not only surrounded by idiots, but we were at least as incompetent as everyone with whom we were working.

And we fell in love with Pmarca. He made us feel like everything was ok, like, yeah, this shit's hard, but, if you like it, you might as well keep giving it all the effort you have. Eventually, you'll figure something out, and you'll do something useful, do it well, and feel great about it.

Or at least that's how my fallible memory tells me he made me feel. I'll let Wiley amend or dispute that with a comment if he wants to.

Anyway, we dug the blog. And I like to imagine that we learned from it. And we we gave it to the founders for whom we were working, hoping they'd learn from it too (which they probably did). And we left the company.

And now we're doing other things, all improbable and entrepreneurial and involving the internets.

And I post this because Pmarca blinked online for a moment last week, announcing that he was starting a new venture capital fund, and raising hopes that he'll start blogging again.

So I went back and read some of my old favorites. And they're still scary and inspiring and honest and totally entertaining. The Pmarca Guide to Startups, part 1: Why not to do a startup is a great jumping in point.

The Guide tells me that I probably should not be doing a startup. At the same time, I think Pmarca would agree that I should.

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