Posterous founder and Y Combinator Partner Gary Tan wrote a short review of what he wish he knew when he was 16. Now 32, the venture capitalist and angel investor has seen hundreds of companies come and go. His advice to would-be entrepreneurs? Know what side of the “learn vs. earn” equation you are on. When the “learn vs. earn” equation is imbalanced, it’s time to change course. From the post:
You’re always on one side or another of the learn vs. earn. Given the nature of equity and corporations, always know that owners reap the rewards and workers are transacting their time for money. But unless where you work is a co-op where profits are evenly distributed, you’ll never extract the full amount of value that you create for the company. Always know whether at that moment you’re learning or earning. If you’re learning, then it’s worth it. If you’re not, you better be earning (e.g. being a founder, being a share holder). Otherwise you’re just wasting time.