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How 'Letter to a Young Programmer' hit home online

Former Twitter engineer Alex Payne suggests that startups aren't all they're cracked up to be
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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.

"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.

Many of those reading couldn't help but quote their favorite excerpts from the post.

And as much as it resonated with software professionals, some suggested the relevance may extend to other sectors as well.