Friday, February 6, 2009

Startups and faster Learning

Every one that is familiar to gradient descent and Machine Learning knowns that learning is proportional to the error. Bigger are the errors, bigger are the possibility to learn something. According to me, startups, by nature, are the ideal environments to put yourself in hight gradient learning situations. It force you to try much more things, take more risk and innovate to survive if you don't want to have no choice to look for another job and/or get penny stocks options. Another interesting thing is that true nature of people appear and mask fall rapidly. Friendships are tested to its limits and it allows you to filter out short term life partner.

Don't forget that high gradient put high constraints to your body and frustrations has to be released somehow. In my case, cycling has been used as stress balancing vehicle, you have to find yours. Resigning is too often chosen as the latest resort. You have to keep in mind that everyone is replaceable, even in startups. If you really want to be rich, you should do the Californian technique: cumulate stocks of multiple startups. don't forget that most of them (~90-95%) fail badly, so increase your chances by switching before reaching burnout and build your contacts network by the same way. After the graduation is definitely the best time to try this fast growing experience when you can take it. On my side, I tried it 5-6 years, you have to know your limits. Successful startups have workaholic CEO so it will increase the pressure and the gradient. If he isn't one, find another one, it should be the 19 mistakes of startups (18 mistakes of startups).

If you have the chance to access higher decision position, you learn that there are irrational error cost function and that you might be optimizing the wrong error criteria. For the ones who aren't following me, I recommend that you see the French movie 99 Francs and pay further attention the the high executive meeting.

I apply the same principle with my son this winter, he doesn't want to put his gloves, he learn/change his mind faster at -10 degrees Celsius.

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