Jul 15, 2012

4 Kinds of people (the hacker matrix)

To win in a game, in a tournament, in life, what kind of person must you be?

I saw four kinds of people this weekend at a hackathon, this one organized by the groovy AT&T Developer Program, and sponsored by the good folks at Stackmob, Tiggzi (cloud-based mobile app builder), and Amazon AWS.  I know, I just couldn't resist the free food and the vibrant energy of the crowd that gathers at these events.

And while most of us dug into our screens to play with APIs, slap together mock-ups, and code away, I saw many other kinds of people at the event.  Let me summarize in picture:

Four Kinds of People at a Hackathon
The two axes by which I categorize people are Skill and Drive.  Note that you could use other axes, but I choose these two.

  • Lo-skill, lo-effort - You are a bystander. You came to enjoy the scene and be inspired. This is okay.  But, you walk away with an empty handed
  • Lo-skill, hi-effort - You are a hustler.  It is an uphill battle.  Don't give up.  (I fall into this category.)  Dreamers have to recruit additional talent (recruit = beg for help from developers).
  • Hi-skill, lo-effort - You are qualified.  Yet, without blood & sweat, you will not be in a winning team.  Have you been part of a team of smart people that never quite achieved something of significance?
  • Hi-skill, hi-effort - Winners!  As in, these people won the day and made out like bandits with real prizes!  They had the talent; they put in the hours.
No mind-blowing insight here.  But, perhaps a sobering reminder to those not in the top-right quadrant, and want to be.  So, ask yourselves these questions today:
  1. Do I have the right skills?  Enough skills?  If not, what can I do to gain those skills? 
  2. Do I have sufficient drive or am I putting in enough effort?  If not, why not?  Am I in the wrong profession?  What can I do to figure out my passion?  
Note that I used the term "Hacker," rather than winner.  I read a great article about what is a hacker?  I aspire to be more like a hacker, in my case as an example to push myself and to gain new skills that I find exhilarating and fun.

We must all find our own paths to happiness and success.  In that walk, are you a bystander?  A dreamer?  Or will you take risks and put in the effort to realize your dreams? 


Whatever the case maybe, smile and enjoy the journey!


Smiling faces of friends remind me not to take myself too seriously

// ==========
News from the event - a team of two dashing fellows presented Voicegram, a service that allows users to send voice greetings to friends and family. It's a very nice idea to keep in touch with friends.  Check them out on Twitter to stay tuned.

If you enjoyed this post, follow me on twitter @findinbay.

1 comment:

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