How 'Letter to a Young Programmer' hit home online
Developers who make mobile apps in their spare time might not think of themselves as real entrepreneurs, at least until their apps start generating real revenue. However, a recent blog post on startup culture clearly struck a chord with many who have fantasized about creating a software company from nothing.
In Letter to a Young Programmer, former Twitter engineer and member of finance software startup Simple, Alex Payne looks back on the pros and cons of creating innovative products and services on his own or as part of a small team. Though he notes some positives, much of his post is cautionary.
Have you read Alex Payne's "Letter to a Young Programmer" yet? What do you think?bit.ly/16toqYS— FierceDeveloper (@FierceDeveloper) May 30, 2013
"A startup is just a means to an end. Consider, the end, and don't seek to revel in the means. What do you care about? Who do you want to help? Does a startup make meeting your goals easier or harder? Where will it leave you when your goal is met? Where will it leave you if it isn't?" he writes. "Young programmer, I urge you to consider both sides of the startup coin. There are no many ways to make a dent in the world."
Almost immediately after it was published, programmers and developers celebrated Payne's refreshingly honest commentary.
Fantastic read about the fetishization vs. reality of startups: al3x.net/2013/05/23/let…— Jeff Watts (@jrwatts) May 30, 2013
Many of those reading couldn't help but quote their favorite excerpts from the post.
Silicon Valley "daily broadcasts itself as the savior of everything from capitalism to culture" al3x.net/2013/05/23/let…— Frank Pasquale (@FrankPasquale) May 30, 2013
"Startups are part of the system, not a rebellious wrench in the cogs" - al3x.net/2013/05/23/let…— Brian Knight (@briandknight) May 30, 2013
"There is nothing inherently disruptive about a venture-backed startup." al3x.net/2013/05/23/let…— Ben Thompson (@monkbent) May 30, 2013
And as much as it resonated with software professionals, some suggested the relevance may extend to other sectors as well.
Alex Payne — Letter To A Young Programmer Considering A Startup al3x.net/2013/05/23/let… Not just for programmers, nor unique to startups.— Elliot Loh (@Loh) May 30, 2013