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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.

Paying for the Shop's Real Estate

If you want to get better prices on things when you travel, look for shops that have cheaper real estate. As a traveler or tourist, you're very likely to spend most of your time on the major streets and roads.

These places have the highest prices.

One example that really struck me was in Saigon, Vietnam. On one of the main roads is a nice little restaurant. Next to it is a different shop, and then there's an alley.

If you walked down the alleyway a little bit, there's another restaurant - with the exact same menu, except the prices are 20-30% cheaper.

At the restaurant on the main road, there'd only be foreigners, mostly tourists. The one set back in the alleyway had more Vietnamese people and expatriates and savvy travelers.

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