I was watching the Dark Knight over the holiday and hoped to “diagnose” the Joker’s psychosis. In the process, I re-learned some of the common psychological issues connected to criminality. I found several articles highlighting similarities between those that create the most and those that are the most destructive — the entrepreneur and psychopath.
Caterina Fake, co-founder of Flickr, stumbled upon similar inspiration
Two years ago I left a lot of big numbers for a lot of zero. Left one billion users for none, millions in revenue for debt, several products for nothing and dozens of teammates for me, myself and I.
So, if you missed it, I had no product, no users, and, yes, no friends (I deleted Facebook).
Less than a week ago, I started to let friends and our alpha testers on the product we’ve been working on since I left AddThis (formerly Clearspring). We had a new zero to cope with. Zero members. A week later, we’re looking towards our first ‘fluff’ milestone of 1000 members and focusing on other, more valuable metrics around engagement and retention.
Don’t be confused, I keep looking for zeros. Currently there are zero members who have ever posted 10 conversations in a month. There are zero members that spend more than one hour a day on the site. There are zero conversations with over 10K visitors.
I’m not stating this to be negative because we’ve come a far way; rather, the point is that you don’t get anywhere looking at “good” numbers. You get somewhere by flipping the zero.
Zero is an opportunity, one is a milestone, and two’s a reminder that you’re spending too long looking at one.
When’s the last time you stared fat zeros in the face?
Great song lyrics and a reminder to keep rockin’ and rolling.
They all laughed at Christopher Columbus
When he said the world was round
They all laughed when Edison recorded sound
They all laughed at Wilbur and his brother
When they said that man could fly
They told Marconi
Wireless was a phony
It’s the same old cry
They laughed at me wanting you
Said I was reaching for the moon
But oh, you came through
Now they’ll have to change their tune
They all said we never could be happy
They laughed at us and how!
But ho, ho, ho!
Who’s got the last laugh now?
They all laughed at Rockefeller Center
Now they’re fighting to get in
They all laughed at Whitney and his cotton gin
They all laughed at Fulton and his steamboat
Hershey and his chocolate bar
Ford and his Lizzie
Kept the laughers busy
That’s how people are
They laughed at me wanting you
Said it would be, “Hello, Goodbye.”
And oh, you came through
Now they’re eating humble pie
They all said we’d never get together
Darling, let’s take a bow
For ho, ho, ho!
Who’s got the last laugh?
Hee, hee, hee!
Let’s at the past laugh
Ha, ha, ha!
Who’s got the last laugh now?”
"We forfeit three-fourths of ourselves in order to be like other people." - Arthur Schopenhauer 
The issue I see with being “original” is that it requires people to go outside of their existing pattern matching and actually think. This leads to some finding the same quality ridiculous, humorous or offensive. As we all look at the world through a set of foggy mirrors, you never know exactly how someone sees a situation. It’s impossible to know what’s going to happen when the black box of perception starts working. For that reason, I see no reason to worry about it.
Whenever I stress about someone thoughts of me I think, “I love a sunny day, but the weather has no care for me.” It’s possible to live in a world where we revere, love and hope for the uncontrollable and still keep our sanity. They key is realizing that the phenomenon or thing we want is truly uncontrollable and relatively unpredictable.
“Shakespeare will never be made by study of Shakespeare." - Ralph Waldo Emerson, from Self Reliance
Since I’ve moved to the Silicon Valley, I see an undue amount of hero-worship of existing and prior tech folk. I never understood why people tend to put others on pedestals; however, it seems to me that they should realize that many of those the look up at never would have looked up at another. No great man has ever stood alone trying to be another man. Some tried to be greater than a man by holding themselves to a religious or spiritual ideal that has not ever been; but that is very different than looking to your fellow man to understand how to be.
A closing by Blaise Pascal.
 As attributed in Dictionary of Quotations from Ancient and Modern English and Foreign Sources (1899) by James Wood, p. 624
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