Will The Start-Up World Be Ruled By Techies or Business People?

There was a lively discussion on my post, Can Non-Engineers Run Software Companies? The usually insightful and usually verbose Paul Graham remarks today on his blog/website:

There’s also a social trend that will last: the startup world will increasingly be ruled by technical people rather than business people. As in so many other areas, Google is the pattern for the future. The hackers dominate Google, and that’s why Google wins. A lot of the most characteristically lame startups of the Bubble were that way because they were started by business guys, who then went looking for hackers to implement their ideas. That model may have worked in 1960, but it didn’t work so well in 1998, and it gets more obsolete every year. I think the future belongs to the hackers. Technology is an ever larger component of business, so of course power is shifting to the people who are experts in that, rather than management or finance.

I agree know-how in technology will be more and more essential. But I think we must stop bifurcating “business” and “technology” people. The most essential human beings will be people who bring interesting perspectives and diverse skill sets across a range of disciplines — technology and business are just two. Interdisciplinary, my friends, will be the buzzword of the “business” world over the next 20 years.

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