Table of Contents

1 Tmp

Donald Knuth, in "Computer Programming as an Art" (1974),

The real problem is that programmers have spent far too much time worrying about efficiency in the wrong places and at the wrong times; premature optimization is the root of all evil (or at least most of it) in programming.

Yoda in "The Empire Strikes Back":

You must unlearn what you have learned.

William Gibson:

The future is already here — it's just not very evenly distributed.

If we wish to count lines of code, we should not regard them as lines produced, but as lines spend.

– Edsger Dijkstra

1.1 ??

You can't get to the moon by piling up chairs.

2 Education

Michael Seibel

The best private schools are generous with financial aid.

Marvin Minsky

School is the best thing ever invented to keep you from thinking about something important for more than a few minutes.

3 Space

Fred Hoyle

Space isn't remote at all. It's only an hour's drive away if your car could go straight upwards.

4 Technology

Linus Torvalds

Only wimps use tape backup: real men just upload their important stuff on ftp, and let the rest of the world mirror it.

Eric S. Raymond on Plan9's failure.

The most dangerous enemy of a better solution is an existing codebase that is just good enough.

Richard Feynman

What I cannot create, I do not understand.

5 Mathematics

George Box

All models are wrong. Some models are useful.

6 China

Napoleon Bonaparte

Let China sleep, for when she wakes she will shake the world.

7 Time, Life, Determination, etc

Henry Ford

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said – faster horses.

Paul Brown

When you win, say nothing, when you lose say less.

Then, when to say a lot? When you are going to do!

Louis Agassiz

I cannot afford to waste my time making money.

Albert Camus

Don't wait for the Last Judgement. It takes place every day.

Bob Dylan

A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do.

Mark Twain

Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.

Neil Gaiman

When you are scared, but do it anyway, that's brave.

Bernard M. Baruch

Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind.

Michel de Montaigne

There is no conversation more boring than the one where everybody agrees.

Albert Szent-Gyorgi

Discovery is seeing what everyone else has seen and thinking what no one else has thought.

8 Art

John A. Locke

That which is static and repetitive is boring. That which is dynamic and random is confusing. In between lies art.

Alan Turing

Science is a differential equation. Religion is a boundary condition.

9 By People

9.1 Sam Altman

The most successful founders are the sort of people who are low-stress to work with because you feel “he or she will get it done, no matter what it is.

Mediocre engineers do not build great companies.

The best companies are almost always mission oriented

When doing hiring:

  • are they smart?
  • do they get things done?
  • do I want to spend a lot of time around them?

9.2 Steve Jobs

2010 interview:

What I love about the consumer market, that I always hated about the enterprise market, is that we come up with a product, we try to tell everybody about it, and every person votes for themselves. They go 'yes' or 'no,' and if enough of them say 'yes,' we get to come to work tomorrow. That's how it works. It's really simple. With the enterprise market, it's not so simple. The people that use the products don't decide for themselves, and the people that make those decisions sometimes are confused. We love just trying to make the best products in the world for people and having them tell us by how they vote with their wallets whether we're on track or not.

Just because we're competing with someone doesn't mean we have to be rude.

From Steve Jobs’ Commencement address on June 12, 2005:

My third story is about death.

When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a scan at 7:30 in the morning, and it clearly showed a tumor on my pancreas. I didn’t even know what a pancreas was. The doctors told me this was almost certainly a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I should expect to live no longer than three to six months. My doctor advised me to go home and get my affairs in order, which is doctor’s code for prepare to die. It means to try to tell your kids everything you thought you’d have the next 10 years to tell them in just a few months. It means to make sure everything is buttoned up so that it will be as easy as possible for your family. It means to say your goodbyes.

I lived with that diagnosis all day. Later that evening I had a biopsy, where they stuck an endoscope down my throat, through my stomach and into my intestines, put a needle into my pancreas and got a few cells from the tumor. I was sedated, but my wife, who was there, told me that when they viewed the cells under a microscope the doctors started crying because it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. I had the surgery and I’m fine now.

This was the closest I’ve been to facing death, and I hope it’s the closest I get for a few more decades. Having lived through it, I can now say this to you with a bit more certainty than when death was a useful but purely intellectual concept:

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… The ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… They push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.

It’s better to be a pirate than to join the navy.

Stay hungry. Stay foolish.

Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.

If you want to live your life in a creative way, as an artist, you have to not look back too much. You have to be willing to take whatever you’ve done and whoever you were and throw them away.

9.3 Alan Kay

People who are really serious about software should make their own hardware.

If you want to make money, don't start a startup; start an industry. That way you make trillions instead of billions.

Don't do incremental things; do evolution ones.

I had the fortune or misfortune to learn how to read fluently starting at the age of three. So I had read maybe 150 books by the time I hit 1st grade. And I already knew that the teachers were lying to me.

If you don't fail at least 90 percent of the time, you're not aiming high enough.

9.4 Albert Einstein

Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe

There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.

9.5 Paul Graham

There are few sources of energy so powerful as a procrastinating college student.

Odds are you just think whatever you're told.

You need three things to create a successful startup: to start with good people, to make something customers actually want, and to spend as little money as possible.

It's important for nerds to realize, too, that school is not life. School is a strange, artificial thing, half sterile and half feral. It's all-encompassing, like life, but it isn't the real thing. It's only temporary, and if you look, you can see beyond it even while you're still in it.

It’s hard to do a really good job on anything you don’t think about in the shower.

But if you're trying to choose between two theories and one gives you an excuse for being lazy, the other one is probably right.

Don't ignore your dreams; don't work too much; say what you think; cultivate friendships; be happy.

You don't need people to give you advice that doesn't surprise you.

9.6 Peter Norvig

PowerPoint doesn't kill meetings. People kill meetings. But using PowerPoint is like having a loaded AK-47 on the table: You can do very bad things with it.

9.7 Pablo Picasso

Art is a lie that tells the truth

Good artists copy, great artists steal.

Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.

Computers are useless. They can only give you answers.

9.8 Wayne Gretzky

I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.

Only one thing is ever guaranteed, that is that you will definitely not achieve the goal if you don’t take the shot.

The day I stop giving is the day I stop receiving. The day I stop learning is the day I stop growing. You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.

If you surround yourself with quality people and great friends, the sky’s the limit.

Not doing it is certainly the best way to not getting it.