Thursday, August 9, 2007

Hiring is obsolete

As I write this I'm thinking of a bright student who left my research group.

Jair Koiller, a mathematician who's got the sharpest, sharpest mind, mentioned the other day that "so many students just want to wear a suit and get a job downtown". So true, so sad, and so anachronic. The world had, and is, changing so much, so rapidly, and people just don't seem to see it. Perhaps I'm unable to convince people, but this is an excelent, excelent, article from Paul Graham. Here are the starting phrases:

The three big powers on the Internet now are Yahoo, Google, and Microsoft. Average age of their founders: 24. So it is pretty well established now that grad students can start successful companies. And if grad students can do it, why not undergrads?

Like everything else in technology, the cost of starting a startup has decreased dramatically. Now it's so low that it has disappeared into the noise. The main cost of starting a Web-based startup is food and rent. Which means it doesn't cost much more to start a company than to be a total slacker. You can probably start a startup on ten thousand dollars of seed funding, if you're prepared to live on ramen.

The less it costs to start a company, the less you need the permission of investors to do it. So a lot of people will be able to start companies now who never could have before.

The most interesting subset may be those in their early twenties. I'm not so excited about founders who have everything investors want except intelligence, or everything except energy. The most promising group to be liberated by the new, lower threshold are those who have everything investors want except experience.

Read it in full, you won't regret it.