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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.

Let it begin

On Mike Dariano

I got this crazy idea to be better. It's an ambitious idea. I want everything to be better, even in the smallest increments. There's going to be a lot of work to do this but I can with some strong and focused efforts - right around the New Year. That's the time to start these things right? Wait for the distractions and cookies of the holidays to pass by so you can give yourself a pass. Wait for a clean start, a clean slate, a clean schedule. That's lazy.

Not here, not now. Now is the time for action. Now is the time to start. I got thinking this way after listening to Biscuits, Fleas, and Pump Handles and Zig Ziglar talks about how people can put things off "until school starts" and "wait until the summer time comes then I'll really get busy and as the talk moves through seconds his analogy moves through the seasons until he's back where the excuses started.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kiQV0oTyd98] That's the easy way. The easy thing for you and I to do is to wait. Wait to get better and then one day, after watching another three hours of the Free-Vee from The Running Man wonder why things are the same as they've always been. Change only happens when you start to change and the best time to start is now.

One area that does this really well is technology. Anyone that gives advice about how to get started always starts with suggesting you just get started. It doesn't matter if it doesn't work perfectly and it certainly won't be perfect but what matters is you first start. It needs to be the same for me. I just need to start.

I'm also not going to do everything at once. I'm going to be phasing ideas and concepts in little by little but all those little steps will culminate into long strides.

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