“Reconsider” – Of Startups, Making a Dent in the Universe & Living Happily Ever After


Below are some excerpts from a speech given at Web Summit 2015 in Dublin by David Heinemeier Hansson, spot-on advice for the dynamic and vibrant startup community in Vietnam.  Hansson describes himself on his personal website as “the creator of Ruby on Rails, founder & CTO at Basecamp (formerly 37signals), best-selling author, Le Mans class-winning racing driver, public speaker, hobbyist photographer, and family man.”

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About 12 years ago, I co-founded a startup called Basecamp: A simple project collaboration tool that helps people make progress together, sold on a monthly subscription.

It took a part of some people’s work life and made it a little better. A little nicer than trying to manage a project over email or by stringing together a bunch of separate chat, file sharing, and task systems. Along the way it made for a comfortable business to own for my partner and me, and a great place to work for our employees.

That’s it.

It didn’t disrupt anything. It didn’t add any new members to the three-comma club. It was never a unicorn. Even worse: There are still, after all these years, less than fifty people working at Basecamp. We don’t even have a San Francisco satellite office!

make a dent in the universe

The web is the greatest entrepreneurial platform ever invented. Lowest barriers of entry, greatest human reach ever. I love the web. Permission-less, grand reach, diversity of implementation. Don’t believe this imaginary wall of access of money. It isn’t there.

Examine and interrogate your motivations, reject the money if you dare, and startup something useful. A dent in the universe is plenty.

Curb your ambition.

Live happily ever after.

If you want to read what comes between these two bookend excerpts, strap yourself in and follow this link!

MAA

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