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Not too young

Posted by daniel on May 13, 2005 at 6:53 AM PDT

Paul Graham on startups, nurturing good ideas and youth

A cliche ridden commencement address will include some reference to commencement being a beginning and not an ending. Paul Graham doesn't wait until commencement to share his thoughts on the value that young people bring to the working world. He writes,
"It's hard to judge the young because (a) they change rapidly, (b) there is great variation between them, and (c) they're individually inconsistent. That last one is a big problem. When you're young, you occasionally say and do stupid things even when you're smart. So if the algorithm is to filter out people who say stupid things, as many investors and employers unconsciously do, you're going to get a lot of false positives."

That being said, he does make an argument that there are many talented young people who can not be appropriately assessed by potential employers. Maybe, he suggests, they shouldn't try to get a job - maybe they should start their own company. The essay goes on to explain why there is an increase in other companies buying startups and the sound reasons behind this. He also notes that although there are notable data points of people who got rich when they dropped out of college, that he is not recommending you drop out to start your start-up. Then again when you are 21 or 22, taking a couple of years to see what you can come up with isn't such a bad idea.

In Also in
Java Today
, we feature Paul Graham's essay about startups and product development that also includes some thoughts on employing young people in Hiring is obsolete. He begins by pointing out that the difference in costs between being a slacker and in starting a company are fairly negligible. In fact, he recommends that young people consider a startup rather than employment because "The most productive young people will always be undervalued by large organizations, because the young have no performance to measure yet, and any error in guessing their ability will tend toward the mean." Much later he adds "Maybe if the idea of starting a startup is intimidating, you filter out the uncommitted. But I suspect the filter is set a little too high. I think there are people who could, if they tried, start successful startups, and who instead let themselves be swept into the intake ducts of big companies."

Robert C Martin has blogged a wonderful example of Empirical vs Analytical Analysis. He takes on an idea from a comment from the comp.object list that said "So you assume existence of some ideal and want to prove that this is what the program does, by means of tests. That's impossible. Period." Uncle Bob provides an example from checking his son's trigonometry homework that illustrates why he disagrees with this statement.


Weblogs,
Rich Unger writes J2EE Architecture for Speech Applications.
"I'm convinced that the lightweight container architecture is the right way to go for the majority of voice applications. However, there needs to be some tweaks in the way the UI tier utilizes it, compared to what we're used to seeing with HTML-based applications."

John Reynolds writes Open Office and Java - I'm for it
"I think we're long past due in seeing an office suite that takes advantage of Java's capabilities (I know OOo is far from embracing this idea, but you can't blame a guy for dreaming).

I know that relying on Java causes ethical conundrums for those who want complete freedom of distribution, but Java is free for download (cost to the end user is not really an issue)."


In Projects and
Communities
, Jini hits New York on May 25th, with the special event Jini Technology: An SOA Delivering Java Dynamic Networking. This free event in the Crowne Plaza Times Square offers technical sessions from members of the Jini team and a special presentation by Jini inventor Jim Waldo.

Got pictures? Got a JSP container? JGallery allows you to use JSP hosts such as Tomcat and WebLogic to host image galleries, presenting thumbnails, full size images, and even EXIF information. The project's home page has complete instructions for getting your images online quickly.


Hlavac posts about efforts to create a Replacement prototype
in today's Forums.
"I spent last evening making a prototype replacement clickwrap installer I found that I can achieve much faster startup time by tuning the order of files in the JAR file and their compression levels. I also found that I could achieve about twice as good compression factor when the inner archive (containing the actual payload) is not compressed, and is added as a single compressed file into the wrapping archive."

Rexguo asks "Is anyone aware of any attempts at (partially) implementing Java2D on top of JOGL? The benefits of this is the ability to use high-level Java2D *and* low-level JOGL on the *same* component, namely GLCanvas. This will be incredibly and immediately useful for real-time graphics applications for Java. "


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Paul Graham on startups, nurturing good ideas and youth