“Yahoo: Time of death, oh about a week ago,” said the headline in the IT Professionals newsletter I just got. The reason? The hacking that compromised up to a billion accounts. The secret backdoor access so the company could scan every email coming through the system, looking for certain keywords flagged by the Feds. The general “aimless wandering” of the company.
How do you measure success?
If you were to say to someone, “That guy is really successful,” what would you mean? Is he rich? Does he own a big company? Has he made an impact in the world?
Different cultures measure success in different ways. In a fascinating Business Insider piece from 2014, Richard Lewis pointed out that for Americans, Germans and Swiss, more time spent working equals more success, “[while in] a society such as existed in the Soviet Union, one could postulate that those who achieved substantial remuneration by working little (or not at all) were the most successful of all.”
She’s known as the “Napalm Girl,” and she appears in a photograph called "The Terror of War," taken by Nick Ut. In it, she is young, naked and clearly terrified.
Ut won the Pulitzer Prize for the photo in 1973, which is credited with turning the tide of public opinion and leading to the end of the Vietnam War.
This picture -- this image of unfathomably vast historical importance, of undeniably significant social commentary -- was removed from Facebook last week, when the social network’s algorithms detected the nudity and deleted it from the account of the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten, which had posted the image.
When you start a company, you put your idea out there -- and people think you’re naive. You quit your job and mortgage your house -- and people think you’re crazy. You launch your first product -- and people think it sucks.
That’s the kind of feedback we humans are designed to run away from. We are social animals and have evolved to fit in, with subsequent survival advantages. It takes incredible bravery to buck the trend, day in and day out, until you’re finally successful and everyone wants you back in the fold.
To be an entrepreneur, you basically have to be comfortable with everyone you know thinking you’re a nutjob.
Which brings us to Elon Musk
“Self-driving cars are coming but most people don’t want one,” wrote MediaPost writer Chuck Martin back in March, citing a study of people 15 to 90 years old. Two weeks later, he followed it up with the final demographic: 63% of kids aged 8 to 18 “would prefer to do the driving rather than letting the vehicle handle the task.”