Paul Graham Essays

Mean People Fail

Lots of people are mean, but successful founders often aren't.

  • Being mean makes you stupid. Fighting isn't productive.
  • Mean founders can't get the best people to work for them.
  • Very successful founders are driven by a spirit of benevolence.

For most of history, success meant success at zero-sum games…That is changing…Increasingly you win by fighting to get control of a scarce resource, but by having new ideas and building new things.

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