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Thursday
May172012

Founders: Am I a Founder?


The things that can make a great founder may seem irrational, illogical and even sometimes ridiculous, but are nonetheless true.

I am currently the founder of famo.us

I have no way of telling you whether or not you are a founder. But I can share with you the traits I have noticed over the years. They are as follows:

  • deep, hard fought confidence that can express itself in a range anywhere from quiet confidence to complete dickishness. I think in some super weird way, that there’s nothing wrong with being cocky ---> as long as you deserve it ;
  • self-reliant to the point of masochistic behavior - I like people who like to learn about everything by doing, by trying it themselves and not only don’t need other people’s help, but can even scoff at the very thought of it;
  • someone who, by default, challenges all thinking - I want the person that when they were a kid, they would say “Why, why, why, why” I can tell you this: when I have a kid and they begin asking why, they are in for a big shock and a very long conversation about everything;
  • someone who has overcome their own worst fears - Every single person on earth is faced with their own difficult challenges. Whether you were beaten as a child, or you’ve been discriminated against or just that you never fit in at all - if you’ve overcome your own greatest fears you’re my kind of person, because compared to facing your own worst fears, startups are a cakewalk;
  • not enchanted by other humansI have very few people that I actually admire. I have found that people who are easily impressed or are affected by a lot of “mentors” or “heros” generally never become impressive people themselves;
  • justifiably not easy to convince of anything - I like people who are not pushovers, who have a belief system, a credo of their own and ideas that they truly do believe because they can back them up with reasoning;
  • paranoid, questioning themselves but malleable - in what may seem as direct opposition to what I just said above, I also want someone that’s malleable, who can listen to advice, who does question themselves and understands that as smart as they are, they can be 10 times smarter if they surround themselves with other people who’ve been down the road they are going;
  • reality distortion field - Steve Jobs had it. The ability to make people believe in the impossible. It’s what can make a good employee a great one, a good product a superior one and an idea into an idea that changes the world;
  • the JFK effect - to convince people to leave a perfectly good job to join you is difficult, to convince people to give you money is difficult, to see all of the possible moves you could take and make the right ones, the ones that make you a great company, takes someone who can move mountains;
  • a killer inside. whenever I talk to a 18-20 year old founder who looks at me like they want to eat me, I get excited. In my very first interview ever, the CEO of the company asked me where I saw myself in five years and I said “taking over your job” He hired me on the spot;
  • unafraid and in some cases even excited about failure. If you truly believe there is a way to success, then it is really only a matter of time. If you try all alternatives, then eventually you will reach the one that succeeds. Every failure is simply an elimination of one more alternative - which actually is one step closer to success;
  • young enough to take the risks necessary to build a billion dollar company - I do not like old people, except for myself - and even then I question myself about that one sometimes. It takes a special kind of crazy to build a billion dollar company and most people lose that crazy over time. Fortunately, I’m as nut-balls as ever;
  • a coder, or better yet an engineer - not being able to code in today’s world and trying to be founder is like trying to be an author without knowing how to read. No excuses;
  • anal, with incredibly high standards - one of the best ways in the world to see how a company is going to do is look how they keep their office, look at their first people they hire, look at how they hold themselves against normal standards;
  • the joy of being a complete spaz - I like to jam with someone and completely spaz out with them. It is the most raw and true form of passion there is;
  • addiction - I like founders who aren’t even for a moment questioning their path. I want people who are addicted to startups and cannot even imagine getting a j.o.b.;
  • weirdly divorced from money - great founders don’t even care about how poor they are now and don’t let short term personal finance situations affect their decisions. A great founder must believe, naturally, that they will be rich, that it is a foregone conclusion and therefore is not part of the decision making process at all;
  • wizardry, apotheosis and the Jesus complex - a small, but palpable belief that either 1) you have the ability to move things with your mind and one day it will be discovered that you are a wizard, or 2) you will live forever, or at least you will participate in figuring out how to do so, or 3) you will die before the age of 40.  ...or any combination of these three things.

 

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Reader Comments (5)

June 14, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterasdf

I really enjoyed this post. You describe this topic very well.

August 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDecision Maker

This post should be my personality description. It really tells who I am as a founder.

November 23, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDanika

Found the solution of this program.

September 20, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterdumosavu

This is what we want

May 4, 2017 | Unregistered Commenteryihaqido

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