September 21, 2017
Author: Bianca Yang
TechCrunch Disrupt was, overall, a very enjoyable experience. I went into the conference with a priority to see what was going on in the startup space and understand what people think is important and a minor goal of finding a job. I’m a bit baffled by what people think is important, because there seemed to be excessive interest in things like blockchain and software gadgets and marketing ROI software enhancers and administrative software. There was one guy selling CRM software for dentists, designed by dentists. I understand the surface level opportunity here, just like the Yelp for Cuba startup, but … why? People who take action are better than people who just pontificate from their cosy desk chair, but these kinds of endeavors largely seem like wastes of time. The people starting these companies aren’t that young and they aren’t students looking to test their technical skills, so their devoting their lives to these companies sounds just a bit ludicrous. Then again, perhaps my mind has been so permeated by the Silicon Valley mantra of eat the world that I can’t comprehend developing an ordinary, profitable business that is useful but not game-changing. For a unicorn to be a unicorn, it can only appear once in a long while. In the meantime, while you’re searching, you’ve got to do something to feed your family and prepare yourself for the right opportunity. The world does not favor the idle; it leaves them behind.
I’m happy that Pi won Startup Battlefield. They were well prepared. The presentation was polished, their demo was smooth, and the founding team handled questions very well. There were no awkward pauses or uncomfortable handoffs between the two founders. Some of the other startups had some serious holes poked into their business plans, like Materialize.X. I think most people walked away from that presentation more confused about how they use machine learning to customize adhesives to be more sustainable and effective. Oneva seemed to be quite far along, with a deal signed with Microsoft and ongoing talks with a country in the Netherlands. I can certainly understand attending for the free publicity, but it’s a bit of a waste of time for the judges and participants. Speaking of companies who leverage media for free publicity, see this Shark Tank video. The company seems to be doing well, but the Shark Tank appearance seemed like such a scam.
I still waver on whether I want to aim for the stars and join a unicorn company with a mission to change the world and conquer its market or whether I want to just work on cool stuff, without as much of an expectation for fame and glory. I can do well in both cases, and I don’t want to fall into the trap of choosing an opportunity just for prestige or money.
Most people work because they need the money to fund their lifestyle. I believe that if I offered a $5 mil lump sum to a bunch of workers in the US, most people who take the offer and never work another day of their life. They don’t care that much about their job and they feel their lives can be more enriched by the free time. The money is just a means to an end, which appears to be freedom. I want to achieve the freedom of not being a salaryman as soon as possible. I don’t have specific plans for what I want to do with the money, but I value my free time more than I value having something to do. I’m confident that I’ll find something I like to do if given the chance, and so far, I’ve been lucky enough to have confirmed my confidence. I’ve contracted with a virtual reality data visualization startup, I’ve started multiple online retail businesses, and I’ve started this blog. I think all of these ventures have been far more meaningful than my internships, mostly because I get to work on my own schedule, and I believe in what I’m working on. One day, I hope that I can be like Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos or DHH and wake up every morning excited to go live my life. I want to feel that excitement and purpose flow through my veins, because I want to see those around me live better lives because of what I do.
我這月剛開始在 upwork 上發案，希望能考自己的能力做出好生活。我不用靠什麼鬼公司，不用照公司的鬼營業時間去工作，我不必住在公司的附近、不必每天早上因為堵車而提早一個多小時出發。這樣的生活有多自由啊？我最大的問題就是找不到願意聘請我的客人。只好堅強下去，不能放棄，因為總有一天我能找出我自己的成就。