Since I've started my new career as a venture capitalist I have become keenly aware of some of the classic mistakes that geeks make when trying to raise money for a new business. Instead of writing the same comments over and over again I thought I'd try to summarize some of the mistakes that people -- especially smart people -- make when they decide to try to turn their bright ideas into money. Here then is my top-ten list of geek business myths:

The Dunning–Kruger effect is an example of cognitive bias in which "...people reach erroneous conclusions and make unfortunate choices but their incompetence robs them of the metacognitive ability to realize it".[1] They therefore suffer an illusory superiority, rating their own ability as above average. This leads to a perverse result where people with less competence will rate their ability more highly than people with relatively more competence. It also explains why competence may weaken the projection of confidence because competent individuals falsely assume others are of equivalent understanding. "Thus, the miscalibration of the incompetent stems from an error about the self, whereas the miscalibration of the highly competent stems from an error about others."[1]

At some point, you, the nerd’s companion, were the project. You were showered with the fire hose of attention because you were the bright and shiny new development in your nerd’s life. There is also a chance that you’re lucky and you are currently your nerd’s project. Congrats. Don’t get too comfortable because he’ll move on, and, when that happens, you’ll be wondering what happened to all the attention. This handbook might help.

Melbourne University's Dr Brent Coker says workers who surf the internet for leisure, known as 'Workplace Internet Leisure Browsing' (WILB), are more productive than those who don't. [...] "People who do surf the internet for fun at work - within a reasonable limit of less than 20 per cent of their total time in the office - are more productive by about nine per cent than those who don't," said Dr Coker, from the university's Department of Management and Marketing.

Revolutionen inställd. Vladimir Lenin och Che Guevara skulle fnysa åt dagens socialistiska kämpar. Varken i KPML(r):s klassiska lokal i Göteborg eller i Evo Morales Bolivia hörs det något vapenskarammel längre.

All Hugh Loebner wanted to do was become world famous, eliminate all human toil, and get laid a lot. And he was willing to put up lots of good money to do so. He's a generous, fun-loving soul who likes to laugh, especially at himself. So why does everybody dislike him so much? Why does everybody give him such a hard time?

I don't believe in certifications. The certification alphabet is no substitute for a solid portfolio; you should be spending your time building stuff, not studying for multiple choice tests. But that doesn't mean they're worthless, either. I don't think certifications get in the way, as long as you can demonstrate an impressive body of work along with them.

Of course there are plenty of examples of bad employees giving lousy customer service. But trying to solve this by declaring the customer “always right” is counter-productive.

Instead of finding assembly lines of productive workers, they quickly discover that their product is produced by utterly unpredictable, uncooperative, disobedient, and worst of all, unattractive people who resist all attempts at management.

The people you choose to work with are the most accurate predictor of job satisfaction I've ever found. And job satisfaction, based on my work experience to date, correlates perfectly with success. I have never seen a happy, healthy, gelled, socially functional software development team fail. It's a shame such teams are so rare.

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