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Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Talking business with Stefan



It's always interesting to speak with Stefan Molyneux; this time we were talking about business, work, and success. In my opinion, the important thing to accept about success is understanding that it's not you. Sure, you have to work hard and do your part, but you are not the only factor. You are FAR from the only factor. There are a number of factors involved, and of them all, timing is almost certainly the most important. Sometimes you can recognize, but more often, it's just a matter of luck.

Some say that luck is made, but I think it is more akin to something that you have to be already working to exploit for the moment it arrives. I think of it like a surfer and a big wave. If you haven't taken the time to learn to surf, bought a surfboard, then swum out to sea, you're not going to catch it. If you're on land and you see it, it's already too late.

Our big point of disagreement was about volunteers. I think they are crucial, so long as you're willing to be ruthless about weeding out those who don't make the grade for many, many different reasons. Stefan is dubious about them, but I can state for a fact that neither Castalia nor Infogalactic nor Gab would have gotten anywhere without a reliable core of dedicated, hard-working volunteers.

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34 Comments:

Blogger don't forget to write December 06, 2016 6:56 PM  

Did you volunteer or did you get paid for the interview?

Blogger JACIII December 06, 2016 6:57 PM  

Your volunteers are a slightly peculiar self selecting population.

Blogger Brian S December 06, 2016 6:58 PM  

I left the game industry about 6 years ago and listening to you almost makes me want to go back lol.

Blogger Nick S December 06, 2016 7:00 PM  

I watched this last night. It was very good, but I kept thinking you guys would get into the opportunities being created for the alt-media by the MSMs unwitting self immolation over their fake news misinformation campaign. It's all very rich.

Blogger Wayne December 06, 2016 7:03 PM  

Listened this afternoon to the podcast...I knew that Gab had seen a lot of growth since the Twitter purge, but I couldn't imagine that they had a million subscribers waiting in the hopper to get in...they're going to need a bigger boat.

Anonymous Just another commenter December 06, 2016 7:22 PM  

@2 JACIII - er, "slightly?"

Yes, a good interview. Some great nuggets of wisdom.

Blogger Leo Littlebook in Shenzhen December 06, 2016 7:40 PM  

Certainly the lesson is valid. However, perhaps you are uniquely talented at filtering volunteers in the same way Molyneaux is at doing interviews.

Anonymous Grime Knight December 06, 2016 7:54 PM  

Heh, I remember you talking about your 55 page GDD at the Game Dev course. That's insane! But it just goes to show the level of ruthlessness/passion/zeal one needs to have in life...even if to spite the other guys.

Blogger JCclimber December 06, 2016 7:59 PM  

I concur about the volunteers.

I'm involved in a number of evangelism efforts, both short term like a church retreat and long term spanning decades.

Several of them have funds that can be tapped that are more than sufficient. Others struggle with getting funding.

But the deciding factor in the success is the number, and QUALITY, of volunteers we can attract to the projects and efforts. And how best to use their enthusiasm and provide structure for them to run independently so that we don't have to micromanage everything.

Both highly talented and motivated potential leaders, AND barely talented but willing helpers are vital to be successful. But all of them must be reliable.

The third category are the unreliables, but they are also welcome but get roles that belong in the nice to have category. Reliables plan or coordinate the meals, unreliables are assigned to the snacks, for example. Some of my best and most enthusiastic participants are the unreliables, because they want to help but cannot commit, and most people won't use them because of the hassle.

Blogger SirHamster December 06, 2016 8:16 PM  

Where's the SD1 version of the 16 points? I see the original and SD0 links on the list to the right.

Blogger Bard December 06, 2016 8:31 PM  

Vox,
Vox,
Did you read Scott Adam's new book?
He has a really interesting perspective on timing and luck in business. It is actually the basis of the book. Life lived as a system instead of goals, stacking skill sets over time. The more you have, the easier to take advantage of opportunities when they arrive. And, the more you have, the more opportunities you will see. Well worth the read.

Anonymous Gedrin December 06, 2016 9:20 PM  

On loyalty, that's a very good point Vox. Throwing some cash at Infogalactic's Phase II goal.

Also, how do I get my application in to the VFM?

Blogger cheddarman December 06, 2016 9:34 PM  

Vox appears to have pointy ears in the video. Are we going to find out that in addition to being a descendant of Aztecs, Native Americans and sweet Vanilla white people, he also has Elven blood?

(By the way, Vanilla is a hugely under rated flavor. It blends well with chocolate, coffee, many "Sweet" spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, as well as fruit flavors, and it enhances them...just sayin' for all you Vanilla whites out there)

Anonymous Jeb the Yeb December 06, 2016 9:53 PM  

Please clap for Vox.

He needs us now more than ever.

Blogger Lazarus December 06, 2016 10:08 PM  

Gedrin wrote:On loyalty, that's a very good point Vox. Throwing some cash at Infogalactic's Phase II goal.

Also, how do I get my application in to the VFM?


I think you just email and ask.

But their might be a blood ritual involved. I am not sure, but I hear things.

Blogger Lazarus December 06, 2016 10:11 PM  

Jeb the Yeb wrote:Please clap for Vox.

He needs us now more than ever.


Get a life.

Blogger Orville December 06, 2016 10:15 PM  

Great interview. I particularly liked what you said that some successes cannot be replicated because opportunities usually have a short shelf life. You have to be paddled out already when the wave comes. I also like Stefan's minimalist set too.

Anonymous Jeb the Yeb December 06, 2016 10:19 PM  

Get a life.

Mama needs me!

Blogger Bard December 06, 2016 10:28 PM  

Good interview.

Blogger Mountain Man December 06, 2016 10:32 PM  

Very informative interview.
Thank you for taking the time to do it.
It testifies to the generous spirit of both you and Stephan. You both give up valuable time to put something like this together and then generously give away the information for free.

Blogger The Other Robot December 06, 2016 10:56 PM  

There are lots of volunteers in Open Source Software projects.

They seem to work well.

Anonymous FP December 06, 2016 11:00 PM  

Yeb Jeb, share your guacamole recipe already. Such a tease.

Blogger Wanderer December 06, 2016 11:18 PM  

I hope that you do more interviews with Stefan in the future. They're always a pleasure to listen to.

Blogger tim December 07, 2016 1:25 AM  

"I need a month to recover after coming on your show Stefan." Ha!

Blogger tim December 07, 2016 1:25 AM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger S. Thermite December 07, 2016 2:23 AM  

Some say that luck is made, but I think it is more akin to something that you have to be already working to exploit for the moment it arrives.

The same is strongly argued by Scott Adams in How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big, which he eventually persuaded (ahem) me to buy after reading his blog posts about Trump, etc. I highly recommend it, especially for anyone who liked Gorilla Mindset. Adams shares a lot of unique insight and obscure information which distinguishes it from being just another self-help book. I opted for the audiobook and the production is superb.

Blogger Shimshon December 07, 2016 3:32 AM  

Bongzilla? Please, you have obviously never seen the Thermonuclear Bong. That triple-chambered beauty was also made of chemistry lab glassware, and had a gas mask.

Blogger Badger Brigadon December 07, 2016 6:02 AM  

I like Stephan's willingness to fight for the truth, but some of his 'opinions' are clearly retardedness leftover from when he was a liberal.

Anonymous SciVo de Plorable December 07, 2016 6:04 AM  

...I am actually passionate about accounting software. Using it, developing reports, working on the engine -- so much fun, just an endless stream of puzzles to solve. [spergness intensifies]

Anonymous Avalanche December 07, 2016 7:55 AM  

@13 "Vox appears to have pointy ears in the video. Are we going to find out that in addition to being a descendant of Aztecs, Native Americans and sweet Vanilla white people, he also has Elven blood?"

Interesting. Why would you suggest Elven and not demon blood for the Supreme Dark Lord of the Evil Legion of Evil? (Note: my allusion is: fictional, not religious...)

Anonymous Avalanche December 07, 2016 7:56 AM  

@13 Or maybe he was wearing his Spock ears?

Blogger sysadmn December 07, 2016 8:52 AM  

A coworker mentioned a Czech proverb that translated as "It's hard to be lucky if you're not prepared". It reminded me of Vince Lombardi's "Luck is where preparation meets opportunity". Add my voice to those recommending Scott Adams' How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big. Skills are tools. When an opportunity arises, the more tools you have, the more like you are to succeed. And the more varied your tools the wider the range of opportunities available to you.

Blogger sysadmn December 07, 2016 8:58 AM  

@7 - Certainly the lesson is valid. However, perhaps you are uniquely talented at filtering volunteers in the same way Molyneaux is at doing interviews.

I suspect His Evilness' willing to pare the deadwood and focus on the productive is a greater factor than his ability to select volunteers. A helper that is unwilling, unable, or even requires too much direction saps vitality and can distract.

Blogger Dwain Dibley December 07, 2016 3:41 PM  

Personally, I don't think the video discussed (((capitalism))) at all. What it did discuss would have been categorized just thirty, forty years ago as entrepreneurial free/private enterprize. Back then, you weren't considered a true 'capitalist' by most people until your company was listed on Wall Street. The notion ours was a (((capitalist))) economy didn't really take hold until after the Berlin Wall fail and everybody started proclaiming (((capitalism))) won and we're all (((capitalist))). Yes well, (((capitalism))) won alright, just look at us now.

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