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Paul Graham profile

Inc. has a cover story on Paul Graham, whose essays you either love to hate or hate to love.

“Paul gives these kids money, but he also gives them a methodology and a value system,” he says. “I don’t mean this in a negative way, but Y Combinator is more like a cult than a venture capital fund. And Paul is the cult leader.”

The Fluff Principle and other thoughts on community

Paul Graham shares what he’s learned in running a community news site called Hacker News for the past two years.

There are two main kinds of badness in comments: meanness and stupidity. There is a lot of overlap between the two โ€” mean comments are disproportionately likely also to be dumb โ€” but the strategies for dealing with them are different. Meanness is easier to control. You can have rules saying one shouldn’t be mean, and if you enforce them it seems possible to keep a lid on meanness.

Keeping a lid on stupidity is harder, perhaps because stupidity is not so easily distinguishable. Mean people are more likely to know they’re being mean than stupid people are to know they’re being stupid.

It’s sad that Graham’s thinking seems so out of the ordinary these days. Who cares about good comments when you just want as many comments as possible to drive pageviews and ad revenues? (via gulfstream)

Paul Graham: Microsoft is dead. And by

Paul Graham: Microsoft is dead. And by dead he means increasingly irrelevant.

Paul Graham on the 18 mistakes that kill

Paul Graham on the 18 mistakes that kill startups. Some interesting stuff here, but heavily technology-biased (#6 Hiring Bad Progammers…what, everyone else on the team can be bad and you’ll still succeed?).

As with much of Paul Graham’s writing,

As with much of Paul Graham’s writing, The Power of the Marginal is filled with odd conclusions and unfair assumptions, but the general ideas are interesting to consider; lots of food for thought in this one for me.