Party Efficiently - speaking out loud.
A concept I’ve been exploring for awhile is
"partying hard" ”efficient partying.” Yes, I said "Efficient Partying!" The concept is not so far fetched and I am working on a solution that will help everybody party efficiently while still enjoying themselves.
Ok, so wtf am I talking about. For a lot of 20-30 year olds partying is another expense that has to be budgeted, just like shopping, concerts, gaming, health activities, eating out and so on. The only difference is that most people add those things into their monthly budget, either outwardly or subconsciously. If you like to go out to eat, you will either budget dining into your expenses or subconsciously note that you will spend a certain amount on dining every month. Same with music concerts or shopping for shopaholics.
Partying, on the other hand, is more of a miscellaneous expense. At least it was for me. I never said, “maybe I should put away $300-$500 a month for partying.” Whether that is a modest or large amount is relative, but if you told me I spend $500 a month on partying I would be shocked. Well, last month I created a spreadsheet totaling the amount I spend on nightlife/partying each weekend, documenting cover charges, drinks for me and my people, drinks for whatever female I was scheming on for the night, taxi and the “late-night fatboy drunk meals.” $447.50!!! Considering most of the spots I go to don’t have cover charges, this amount could be a lot higher and I’m sure it is for most of you.
In addition to making partying easier, my solution should help cut the costs of partying, whether you go out everyday of the week or once every so often. Maybe I’m just tripping and people don’t really need this. Nonetheless, I urge you to jot down your party expenses for the month (drinks, travel expenses, cover charges…etc), I’m confident the total amount of $ you spend will surprise you. Let me know!
Peter Thiel’s CS183: Startup - Class 18 Notes Essay
Here is an essay version of my class notes. Errors and omissions are mine. Credit for good stuff is Peter’s. Thanks to Joel Cazares for helping proof this.
I. Traits of the Founder
Founders are important. People recognize this. Founders are often discussed. Many companies end up looking like founder’s cults. Let’s talk a bit about the anthropology and psychology of founders. Who are they, and why do they do what they do?
A. The PayPal Origin
PayPal’s founding team was six people. Four of them were born outside of the United States. Five of them were 23 or younger. Four of them built bombs when they were in high school. (Your lecturer was not among them.) Two of these bombmakers did so in communist countries: Max in the Soviet Union, Yu Pan in China. This was not what people normally did in those countries at that time.
The eccentricity didn’t stop there. Russ grew up in a trailer park and managed to escape to the one math and science magnet school in Illinois. Luke and Max had started crazy ventures at Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Max liked to talk about his crazy attributes (he claimed/claims to have 3 kidneys), perhaps even a little too much. His came to the U.S. as sort of a refugee weeks after the Soviet Union collapsed but before other countries were formed. So he liked to say that he was a citizen of no country. It made for incredibly complicated travel issues. Everybody decided that he couldn’t leave the country, since it wasn’t clear that he could get back in if he did.
Ken was somewhat more on the rational side of things. But then again, he took a 66% pay cut to come do PayPal instead of going into investment banking after graduating from Stanford. So there’s that.
One could go on and on with this. The main question is whether there is a connection—and if so what kind—between being a founder and having extreme traits.
Many traits are normally distributed throughout the population. Suppose that all traits are aggregated on a normal distribution chart. On the left tail you’d have a list of negatively perceived traits, such as weakness, disagreeability, and poverty. On the right tail, you’d have traditionally positive traits such as strength, charisma, and wealth.
Where do founders fall? Certainly they seem to be a bit less average and a bit more extreme than normal. So maybe the founder distribution is a fat-tailed one:
But that radically understates things. We can push it further. Perhaps the founder distribution is, however strangely, an inverted normal distribution. Both tails are extremely fat. Perhaps founders are complex combinations of, e.g., extreme insiders and extreme outsiders at the same time. Our ideological narratives tend to isolate and reinforce just one side. But maybe those narratives don’t work for founders. Maybe the truth about founders comes from both sides.
To me, the start of the summer always brings forth the aura of a fresh new beginning. This year, the feeling was accentuated by the fact that I am back in school and recently finished my second semester (it was a little rough, but I’m still breathing). Obviously, as a 24 year old grad student, I do not have the freedom to spend hours at the beach or wake up whenever I want like high school or college summers. Nonetheless, I am excited for what this summer will bring.
As most of you know (for the 3 ppl who fall onto my blog) I like to read up on tech news, especially in the NYC startup arena. I recently found myself reading two interesting articles . The first article was about a Japanese company, Rakuten (runs the largest ecommerce site in Japan), investing $50million in the latest round of funding for rapidly growing Pinterest. The other article was sort of a list of prominent women in tech. This article subsequently lead me to another article profiling Heidi Messer, co-founder of Linkshare Corp., one of the largest affiliate marketing companies online.
I am honored to say that I will essentially be working for both of these companies this summer. I will be working on a data migration project for Linkshare, which was brought out by Rakuten in 2005 for $425million. It should be a great opportunity that I’m definitely grateful for. Welcome summer 2012!