Hackers and painters, Paul Graham

Very few people have the gift of putting into words unique perspectives that do not fit into commonly accepted social constructs and yet ring true. Paul Graham has always been a favorite read in this category.

What is this book about?

An assortment of topics. The common theme is a contrarian perspective. Makes you rethink your own attitude and thought patterns about everything happening in today's world.

Quotes worth remembering

Argue with idiots and you become an idiot

Chapter 3, What you can't say.

The problem with working slowly is not that technical innovations happen slowly. It's that they don't happen at all.

Chapter 6, How to make wealth.

The big lessons

Takeaways for tech leaders

Stuff I didn't like

The bit about 'The other road ahead' is irrelevant today. This chapter talks about software moving from desktop to the browser, agile development practices, lean teams. Most code lives on servers. People have moved away from desktop software. Agile is the norm. And the push towards lean teams, customer centric development and fewer layers of QA/Ops is the norm.
This book was written two decades back (as of aug 2023). These ideas were revelotionary back then.

Uniquely interesting

The chapter 'A plan for spam' is a peek into Paul's brain. He proposes a solution for spam. The proposal is thorough. It takes care of the many potential weaknesses, exceptions and scenarios. It proposes a statisical model vs. a simple keyword driven filtering approach. From concept to conclusion, this chapter shows Paul in action (as a hacker).