Silicon Valley favors the brash and the brilliant. If you have a pedigree and a network (e.g. if you studied Computer Science at Stanford), the bar
is lower. People will doubt you less. The corollary to this, of course, is that the more of a nobody you are, the harder it is and the higher self-esteem and courage it will take for you to succeed.
Courage is in short supply… everywhere.
A startup is a scary, lonely endeavor. It takes either desperation or an unreasonably big ego to make it work.
Imbalances of power are a feature of the human condition. Much like your forefathers (and even more so your foremothers), the odds are against you.
Go forth with determination, grit your teeth and get ready to kick some ass.
The man in the photo is my old man. Born in 1929, he picked cotton by hand as a child, laid railroad tracks as a teenager, survived the zoot suit riots in East LA, joined the Air Force, played lothario in Oakland and then paid his way through UCLA as a pipeline construction worker. He earned a PhD and retired as a professor. He was given little, he accomplished much, he inspires me still.
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