I consider myself a “hacker” and I’m generally fond of the term. For many, though, the word is still a bit taboo and holds a negative connotation soliciting thoughts around dark and creepy computer geeks sitting in their creepy homes performing illegal activities on the internets.
Too bad as it’s really not about that at all and I hope, in time, the word takes on a much broader and more rich understanding in the still generally computer-illiterate world.
I think that being a hacker is a really good thing to be and a great skill to have. I think it’s a good philosophy and a really effective and functional way of thinking through problem solving. Although I’m not a super-fan of Mark Zuckerberg I am a fan of his perspective:
The word ‘hacker’ has an unfairly negative connotation from being portrayed in the media as people who break into computers … In reality, hacking just means building something quickly or testing the boundaries of what can be done.
Like most things, it can be used for good or bad, but the vast majority of hackers I’ve met tend to be idealistic people who want to have a positive impact on the world.
I can dig that. In fact, his “Hacker Way” is how he runs his organization and it’s really the only way I know how to launch a new venture or product myself.
And like Zuck and his team, I’m equally as passionate about creating well-constructed, tested, and reliable products. Being a hacker and “hacking” can do that for me and the teams that I serve. I think you can leverage it well too.
I think all good entrepreneurs have a bit of this in them, a desire to test the boundaries and see how far they can go with very, very little. I think it assumes scrappiness, doggedness, and tenacity.
I think it also expresses wild curiosity and creativity and that mixed drink is where you find true innovation.