Marc Grabanski, CEO & UI Developer of Frontend Masters

Entrepreneurs are Dead, Long Live the Hacker

April 01, 2011


Society is moving at an unprecedented pace. A year ago I didn’t have the word “Android” in my vocabulary but now I use an Android phone every day. Entrepreneurs of yesterday have to wake up to this new world and realize that the rules have changed. Entrepreneurs suddenly, “cannot find good talent”. Meanwhile, hackers don’t need idea people when they are the idea people.

Inside the Hacker’s Mind

The job of the hacker is to turn ideas into reality and breathe life into the idea. Without the hacker, the entrepreneur (idea person) is dead — if hackers have their own ideas, they don’t need the typical “entrepreneur” and instead become one. CEO of companies like Etsy, Github and Facebook are all examples of this. This has created such an environment that many entrepreneurs come to me and ask, “Where are all the developers, it is really hard to find good developers these days.” I am forced to tell them the brutal reality: “They don’t need you anymore since they’d usually work on their own ideas, so you better be able to prove you can close sales and have the cash on hand to hire them to work on yours.”

Hackers Thrive on Progress

The biggest way to interest a hacker beyond money is through providing opportunities to progress in skills. Hackers need progress daily (I’d also argue all of humanity feels this way, but most certainly hackers). Hackers need a project, or five, to hack on to improve their abilities. If you are a business owner, give hackers ways to experiment and own the success of ideas. Entrepreneurs have only one option for thriving in today’s new society: become a hacker or find hackers and give them liberty to try out their ideas and progress.

Marc Grabanski, CEO & UI Developer of Frontend Masters

Career Journal on Web Dev, Business, & Life

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