Fierce Nerds →

Paul Graham ·

Traits of fierce nerds:

  • “They are as a rule extremely competitive…Competition is more personal for them.”
  • “…tend to be somewhat overconfident…”
  • Intelligence
  • Independent-mindedness. “And the independent-mindedness of the fierce nerds will obviously be of the aggressive rather than the passive type: they’ll be annoyed by rules, rather than dreamily unaware of them.”
  • “I’m less sure why fierce nerds are impatient, but most seem to be…in the more promising fierce nerds [impatience is] connected to a deeper impatience about solving problems.

On how to avoid becoming bitter: “Work on ambitious projects. If you succeed, it will bring you a kind of satisfaction that neutralizes bitterness. But you don’t need to have succeeded to feel this; merely working on hard projects gives most fierce nerds some feeling of satisfaction. And those it doesn’t, it at least keeps busy.”