Plenty Still Broken In The World

photo of Paul GrahamImage via WikipediaPaul Graham has a new blog post out. The guy has a beautiful writing style. And he tackles the most amazing topics.

Paul Graham: Schlep Blindness
Schlep was originally a Yiddish word but has passed into general use in the US. It means a tedious, unpleasant task. ....... Most hackers who start startups wish they could do it by just writing some clever software, putting it on a server somewhere, and watching the money roll in—without ever having to talk to users, or negotiate with other companies, or deal with other people's broken code. Maybe that's possible, but I haven't seen it. ...... schleps are not merely inevitable, but pretty much what business consists of. A company is defined by the schleps it will undertake. And schleps should be dealt with the same way you'd deal with a cold swimming pool: just jump in. ....... The most dangerous thing about our dislike of schleps is that much of it is unconscious. Your unconscious won't even let you see ideas that involve painful schleps. That's schlep blindness. ....... For over a decade, every hacker who'd ever had to process payments online knew how painful the experience was. .... Because schlep blindness prevented people from even considering the idea of fixing payments. ....... Though the idea of fixing payments was right there in plain sight, they never saw it, because their unconscious mind shrank from the complications involved. You'd have to make deals with banks. How do you do that? ...... That scariness makes ambitious ideas doubly valuable. In addition to their intrinsic value, they're like undervalued stocks in the sense that there's less demand for them among founders. If you pick an ambitious idea, you'll have less competition, because everyone else will have been frightened off by the challenges involved. (This is also true of starting a startup generally.) ...... there's plenty still broken in the world, if you know how to see it.
I have said a few times being an entrepreneur is like being gay. I have a suspicion people are born or not born an entrepreneur, because there are so few of them. And by some estimates 1% of the population is born gay. I think that is also the share of entrepreneurs in the broader population.

In this blog post Paul Graham establishes the 1% within that 1%. Most entrepreneurs stay away from the big ideas, the big problems that need to be tackled.

I read the blog post twice.
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