Transparency and Openness, not Popularity

It is my personal – and professional – goal to be as transparent and open as possible, which means releasing code and all data in our published research studies, and regularly blogging and producing free + low-cost content to consumers out there.

I do not desire to be popular; I never have.

I have always believed that the better mousetrap is the best marketing, despite what everyone on dotcom startup growth blogs will tell you. I focus on making the best product and providing the best service and believe the market will react accordingly – we will “market” our work via general methods of communication like social media and so forth.

I’ve made both business and life decisions that are unpopular and generally represent massive downside with little upside – when analyzed through a traditional balance sheet-driven way, or what the views of the majority on social media think and enforce via mob mentality.

I have a ton of empathy, believe strongly in thinking from first principles, and adhere to concepts like due process, fairness, and second chances.

I do not believe in seeking tons of feedback due to the Criticism Waterfall effect.

Remember that what makes a person good is often what also makes him bad. The concept of piecemeal removal of “bad” parts of a person is a reductionist and stupid philosophy; usually espoused by those who have accomplished little in their lives and/or have views that are fortunately popular amongst the social media mobs.

Loyalty means a lot to me. So does honesty, contrition, and work ethic. What the media – or people in general – think of a person mean little to me.

I suspect I’ll continue to make unpopular decisions along these lines from time to time. Unfortunately for people who would seek a reaction, I don’t much care for feedback from those who I don’t know and consider meaningless to me.

At the end of the day, when we are dying, we will all need to make peace with the moral compromises we have made in our lives. For me, keeping that in mind is more important than popularity, social “rightness,” or judgment from others whose opinions I couldn’t care less about.

If you struggle with being accepted or being validated from others, it might help to remember this: The overwhelming majority of people are going to die and be forgotten, leaving no impact on the world. Why, then, should you care what they think?

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