How Paul Graham's essay on wealth got me to learn how to code, then got me an interview with the man himself

My sister went to Wharton and she became a banker, and when I began my first year there that's what I thought I was going to be too. Albeit, my sister has since come to her senses and now is out of that game (congrats Linda!).

I thought going into banking would be a pretty safe track for me. I knew I wanted to start a company one day, but I wasn't sure I would be able to if I didn't have any money. At that time, I also had no idea how angel investing or VC money worked so I really thought that putting up my own capital was the only way. My plan was to get into banking, like all the other Whartonintes, get a sizable nest egg, then go and start a kickass company. Boy was I delusional.

But today, I potentially would have been that same delusional future MBA-er if it wasn't for this Paul Graham article - "How to Make Wealth". (BTW since that title is in quotes, does the period go after or before it?).

Well it was really a series of events and the first domino was Ajay getting me to read this essay. Ajay had always been a little more in tune with the tech scene than I was. He constantly tried to get me to read TechCrunch, told me about things like Y Combinator, and sent links my way. It wasn't until one bored hour during Thanksgiving Break of 2010 did I finally give in. 

I read that PG article and, wow, it blew my mind. It was then that I started to think about the possibilities of starting a startup, and how inherently good that would be for the world and for myself. The article is a fairly long read and PG covers a lot from how wealth is not conserved but can be created, how good startups are just 40 years of hard work concentrated into 5, how providing something that people want is wealth, etc etc. 

This really began to shape my philosophy on how the world should work.

After reading that essay, I began reading more essays. After break, I went back to school and heard about several Wharton startups making some big exits and creating a lot of wealth (Milo, InviteMedia, Quidsi). I was bombarded with the perfect storm of startup tech news and success.

And that's when I forced myself to learn how to code and build web apps. During Winter Break, Ajay and I taught ourselves web dev and we built our first couple of apps. Before we knew it, we we got a viral success on CNN/Mashable. And before we knew it, again, we were getting interviewed by the man himself, PG. It's been a roller coaster ride, and it all began with a new found perspective on wealth. 

I highly recommend you read that essay. One of my favorites.

Sports today (er yesterday)

Alright another very short post. Today as I ran 20, 100's in the rain what kept me going full force was thinking that I want to show Paul Graham I'm no wimp. It worked kinda. I didnt quit. Just finished brainstorming features or an MVP for our YCombinator interview and started building. Now taking a quiz 2 hour Cat Nap before my 9AM lift... Nice one.

Mixergy is awesome - successful mentors ONLINE

[caption id="attachment_166" align="aligncenter" width="613" caption="Mixergy with Jessica Livingston"] [/caption] After watching Paul Graham's interview with Andrew Warner at Mixergy, I couldn't stop going. Next I watched Jessica Livingston's (Y Combinator co-founder), Steve Welch's (DreamIt Ventures founder), then Dennis Crowely's (founder of foursquare). I should have been sleeping for my meet tomorrow (got to wake up at 5:30AM). Andrew Warner does a great job as the one conducting the interview, but most of all I really love just hearing these successful entrepreneurs and business people talk about their experiences and share their advice with all of us. I find this to be almost as helpful as meeting with a mentor but instead there are SO MANY of them with such TOP QUALITY people... Though, mentor's still rock my world because there is a personal touch you just can't match. Nonetheless, if you have not checked out Mixergy before, get about 60 minutes of your time free and watch one.

Elated about Y Combinator Interview Opportunity

I am going to try to keep this as short as possible. At about 5PM as I was getting out of Track Practice and in the ice bath to take care of my shins, I logged onto HN with my iPhone and saw a new type of notification I had not seen before. I clicked it, and the result is the image you see above. The Paul Graham had messaged me telling us he didn't like our idea, but he liked us. I was excited just to get a PM from Paul Graham. I thought this might be good news that he liked us. I went on my day as usual, knowing that acceptance/rejection letters for interviews were coming out some time today, and took a nap. At about 9:40PM EST, I checked my email and saw that WE (Ajay Mehta, Dan Shipper and myself) GOT INVITED TO INTERVIEW! I was so excited about it all, I called everyone and told them the great news. I honestly was not expecting it, and so I was very happy that it happened. The next two weeks (we are scheduled to interview on Saturday April 23rd) will be devoted to figuring out our plan of action, implementing that into some form of product development, and prepping for the interview as best as we can. This is all very exciting. I can't wait to meet Paul Graham and the crew and be down in San Francisco. Will sacrifice school stuff, but NBD :)