I’m convinced that everything that falls into the “life / philosophy / career / advice” category - the reason why we do things rather than the how - is networked. All of this stuff, all the meaning we have, comes from the connections between each other rather than from ourselves.
All of your friends are starting companies? You should too! And it’s not *just* that simple. It’s more like all of your friends are actively searching for the best life to lead, and stumble across entrepreneurship as the answer. Read enough Paul Graham and Steve Jobs and it’s no wonder that starting a company seems like the answer for how to be happy. Work hard, but play.
When I worked in finance, I saw a glimpse of the reasons for why finance people did finance things. No, it’s just all for the money. Read enough Buffet and Schwarzman and investing can feel like the answer to the meaning question too.
Even more than that, all of your friends are doing it. If you truly value them as your friends, you probably think they are happy (or at the very least, heading in the same direction as you). That the life we both chose is the right one and that meaning can be found here.
But how much of that is just because of the network instead of the nodes? Most of it, IMO. Everyone has that one friend that moves faster, shoots higher. They probably don’t hang out with your other friend who isn’t as career focused.
I should probably make this into a real blog post - it feels more important that some of the other things I’ve written here. Maybe some other people could benefit from the insight, and they sure aren’t going to wade through the shitposting to find it here.
Or maybe this is nothing more than “friends drift apart.”
This was part of the impetus for the post yesterday about getting back to work. I was reading some work by a friend of mine who is dreaming big, acting big. By not doing nothing, I was feeling that social pressure that I was failing. This isn’t a bad thing - we bond over being great, being interesting, being smart.
My friend group also directly impacts what I’ll do next. I’m at this nice place now where I haven’t committed to something. It’s mostly good because I haven’t committed to something that’s not ambitious. If I get a regular job, social ties will break because it’s not ambitious enough. Unless - unless - I do something interesting outside of work too, although at that point why not just devote my life to a more ambitious goal?
But I also have some friends who have more regular (albeit cool) jobs. Stuff like VC investing and growth marketing and block chain engineering. Stuff like fashion design and brand building and independent internet research. Not all my friends are startup founders. I call these people friends because I care about them and I care what they think. The hardest part of selecting a job is selecting which group of friends to join.
Networks pull you up and push you down. There’s a reason mom is concerned about you getting involved with the right group of friends. It’s not about physical proximity but emotional loyalty. When you make a decision, who are you making it to connect with?
These are rough ideas and I don’t review or edit. Feel free to unsubscribe at any time.