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The Genius and Tragedy of Patrick McKenzie

I. This post outlines Patrick McKenzie - a brilliant technologist and entrepreneur - how he's done such amazing things and learned so much, and why he's getting drastically underpaid and how it's his own fault. This post will be most valuable for technologists who underestimate themselves and undervalue themselves.

II. Hacker News is the best tech community on the internet, and patio11 - Patrick McKenzie - is the best contributor there. I don't even think that's controversial, I think it would be near universally agreed by the HN crowd that Patrick has made as many or more important contributions as anyone.

If you're from Hacker News, you know Patrick already. But for my readers that don't know him, let me give you a quick overview.

III. Patrick is a multi-faceted genius, and I don't throw the word genius around casually.

Patrick McKenzie is many things - he's an expatriate to Japan, he's a talented coder, tester, metrics/split-testing/analytics user, a great writer, extremely modest and helpful. He can recruit people, evaluate talent, and manage people well. He understands ROI very well and is good at purchasing advertising. He's good at customer service. Outsourcing. Automation. Coding. Ecommerce.


On Tynan

A couple days ago I read a book recommended by Tyler, whose blog is the only blog I read religiously.

Anyway, the book is about mastery, and it really rang true for me. In it the author talks about the different types of people who are NOT masters, and I am pretty clearly one of them. I'm "the hacker".

What that means is that I get some level of proficiency below mastery, get satisfied with it, and don't progress. I'm acutely aware of this - I get to the level where other people respect my skill, but never push myself as far as I could go / would like.

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