You Probably Won't Make it to the Top [DHH]

Dated Nov 22, 2018; last modified on Fri, 24 Nov 2023

You Probably Won't Make it to the Top. David Heinemeier Hansson (DHH). . Nov 22, 2018.

Fallacy: If you really set your mind to it, you can do it… That’s how I did it. I just wanted it more, worked hard, and eventually all my dreams came true. I won’t say it’s easy, but it’s up to you!

Odds are overwhelmingly that you will not make it to the top. There just isn’t enough room up there, on the top. Why give simultaneous false hope and a false idol to so many?

My gut reaction is to claim that such lies serve purpose, eye roll. Sure, don’t go out saying telling people that they’ll be failures - they won’t. The world is getting better for most , just not at the 0.001th percentile level of good. The message should be to still try, despite knowing that it’s possible to do everything right and still fail.

The top is full of people who hate what they did/became to get there. Furthermore, the satisfaction is shallow.

Stop playing games where you can’t set the rules. But you do have control over whether you’re doing a good job, as measured by your personal sense of satisfaction in the work.