Hiring is Obsolete

I am an avid /.](http://www.slashdot.org) reader.

The recently had a discussion about an article by Paul Graham titled Hiring Is Obsolete that I think is brilliant.

If you are a talented young person, I think you should read the article and see it has anything to say to you.

It seems like good advice to me in any case.

For what it is worth…

Joe J.

Great link, Joe!

Paul Graham has some good insights and advise that most people never hear, or find out “too late”. I think he focuses too much on software and web-based business, so when you read it and he talks about software, Yahoo, Microsoft, and so on, just mentally add your area of interest, whether it’s engineering, marketing, biochemistry or whatever.

He misses an important point though. He stesses the concept of personal control over your “employability” and of the market for startups (both of which I agree wholeheartedly with). But, he overlooks the point that you, the person looking for work, don’t have to be the person with the unique idea leading to a new business opportunity to still take advantage of this perspective.

You can go work for a startup.

In either case, whether you are the founder, or the person the founder hires to help get the business off the ground, this is easier to do when you are young and (presummably) have fewer people depending on you.

My personal experience: I started my career working at a “little” firm called Dupont (they pretty much owned the state of Delaware at the time). When, fifteen years later, they decided that R&D was a burden, I left and took a big risk by joining a startup company (Pharmacopeia). I did minimize the risk by doing due dilegence on the company’s founders and technology, but it was still a big step. It was also very hard on my family, nearly wrecked it, actually.

Startups will eat every waking hour of your day, if you let them (and you may not have any choice, if you want it to succeed). If the match is good, you will happily devote a big chunk of your life to them. Kinda like FIRST. And it can be just as exciting as FIRST, but this can be a problem if you have a spouse and children.

That is why I recommend that you do this right out of college. Besides, a large number of startups are spawned by universities, so what better place to be when you’re looking? My company came out of a Columbia Univ. chemistry lab. So, if you’re in college - look for people with neat ideas looking to make them a reality.

In a word: Network. In the end you’re best job security is right between your ears and is measured in your ability to get a job done. Having a good network enables you find opportunities, answers and help in getting the job done.

having your own business does not need to require 100% of your time.

I started my own business last summer, have made thousands of dollars, and its very profitable

you dont have to be on the leading edge of technology to make a lot of money, or to make money in your spare time.

That article is awesome! Its very well aligned with my views about education, business, career, and technology (people ask me why I don’t like working for UTC and its hard for me to explain, but this article nails it!). I already have ideas for products and I have done a little market research… when I go back to NU this summer I plan on using the resources the entrepreneur professors there can provide and possibly start something up before I graduate (2 years, no problem!) :slight_smile:


p.s. I also learned a lot about emergine robot technology and business possibilities by attending this event this past week in Boston: www.roboevent.com. Check it out for conference materials, you may learn something too!

Fantastic article, and a neat overall site. I liked the first bullet on the “Quotes” page:

It’s both advice on how to act - If you don’t know what you’re doing, quit goofing off - and how to judge - If someone is goofing off, don’t dismiss them out of hand.

He has some points about how it’s easier to cope with failure when you’re young but even food and rent can be a considerable expense in most cases. From reading his bio on the site, I suspect he never had to worry about either.

This is true. But look on the bright side–odds are that in this timeframe (during or right after college) you don’t have kids. Personally, I’d be a lot more leery about starting my own business if my kids depended on its success.

Now I wonder if starting a FIRST team counts as similar experience. :slight_smile:

Having the idea = check
Entrepreneurship = check
Finding location = check
Getting funding = check
Staffing = check
Late nights & weekends = check
Sense of ownership = check

Sounds like it would count to me!