I landed in the United States 10 years ago with nothing but credit card debt.

After one startup exit, one big tech job, and one unicorn, I genuinely believe that it wouldn't have been possible anywhere else in the world.

Here are 10 things I love about this country: Image
1. Work Ethic

First thing I noticed was that everyone regardless of occupation took pride in doing a bang-up job, even when no one looked.

I asked people: "why do you pour everything into a job even when it is seemingly thankless?" And it was like asking fish "what is water?"
2. Lack of corruption

In the 10 years in the US, I've never been asked for a bribe, and that's surprising.

When you know that you predictably get to keep a sizeable portion of the value you create and that no one will arbitrarily stop you, it makes it easier to be ambitious.
3. Win-win mindset

People don't try to screw you on deals, they play the long game, and align incentives in such a way that everyone wins.

This is especially apparent in Silicon Valley where you can't underestimate anyone because one day you might be working for them.
4. Rewarding talent

From sports to engineering, America is obsessed with properly rewarding talent. If you're good, you'll get recognized.

The market for talent is dynamic -- if you don't feel valued today, you can find a better place tomorrow.
5. Open to weirdos

Because you never know where the next tech, sports, or arts innovation will come from, America had to be open to weirdness. Weirdos thrive without being crushed.

We employ people with the most interesting backgrounds -- dropouts to artists -- they're awesome!
6. Forgiveness

Weird and innovative people have to put themselves out there, and as part of that, they're going to make mistakes in public. The culture here values authenticity, and if you're authentic and open about your failures, you'll get a second and a third chance.
7. Basic infrastructure

Americans take care of their public spaces. Parks are clean, subways and busses run on time, and utilities & services just work.

Because life can be livable for a time without income, it was possible for us to quit our jobs and bootstrap our business.
8. Optimism

When you step foot in the US there is a palpable sense of optimism. People believe that tomorrow will be better than today. They don't know where progress will come from, but that's why they're open to differences.

When we started up even unbelievers encouraged us.
9. Freedom

Clearly a cliche, but it's totally true. None of the above works if you're not free to explore & tinker, to build companies, and to move freely.

I still find it amazing that if I respect the law and others, I can do whatever I want without being compelled/restricted.
10. Access to capital

It's a lot harder to innovate & try to change the world without capital. If you have a good idea & track record, then someone will be willing to bet on you.

The respect for entrepreneurship in this country is inspiring. And it makes the whole thing tick.
Because of the character limit, I couldn't caveat the generalities that I made. It's hard to talk about an entire nation without making those. And my experience can be very different from yours. Also, we can do a lot better, and make sure everyone has equal access to opportunity.
Finally, many of the things that I talked about are under threat, largely from people who don't know how special they have it. America is worth protecting, and realizing that progress can be made without destroying the things that made it special.

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More from @amasad

Jan 8
On YouTube:

- hustle porn, selling nothing but empty dreams & ebooks, 10m views

- ycombinator video, actually teaches how to become a billionaire, 10k views

Have to admit hustle pr0n can be fun. I’ve watched more gary v videos than I’d like to admit
But the yc public library has actually everything. You can get it for free when others pis 7% for it!
Read 7 tweets
Jan 2
I got into Bitcoin around the same time we started our company. Little did I know Bitcoin has something to teach entrepreneurs.

Here are 5 lessons founders can learn from #Bitcoin
1. It’s not a straight line up.

One day you're on top of the world, the other you feel like nothing is working.

Similarly, the sentiment around Bitcoin can change from one day to the next.

Key is focus on the long-term which shows the true picture.

2. HODL your vision

Getting “no” from investors, recruits, and customers can be devastating.

But you must have an unshakable belief in your vision and stay the course. Just like HODLing through a bear market.
Read 7 tweets
Jan 1
There is a class of people who take offense at any show of confidence in one's abilities or conviction in one's mission in life.

They tend to be the kind who never had to fight a day in their lives, and that's not a coincidence.
@robkhenderson defines luxury beliefs as "ideas and opinions that confer status on the upper class while taking a toll on the lower classes."

I want to introduce a related idea here:
I believe that excessive modesty, self-deprecation, victim mindset, and refusal to take pride in oneself or work are "luxury attitudes."

These attitudes are pushed down from the top -- people who already made it or were born with a silver spoon.
Read 7 tweets
Dec 27, 2021
If you want to start or join an early-stage startup, the most important investment you could make today is inner work to ensure you have the stamina & resilience to do extremely hard things.

Here is all self work I did between my 1st and 2nd startup that paid off big time:
1. Understand what matters to you

Startups are hard; if you start one you should aim to work on it for at least 5 years. To do something difficult for a long time you should care enough about it you'd do it for free.

I wrote more about it here:
2. Stop being a perfectionist

Putting yourself and your work in public requires a great deal of courage.

Perfectionism is often a protection mechanism against being hurt. You have to be okay with your work being criticized and even hated.

Blogpost: amasad.me/perfectionism
Read 12 tweets
Dec 27, 2021
I've dealt with poor sleep for many years. As someone who's excited & energetic, I had a hard time going to sleep. And as a startup founder, I've had a hard time staying asleep.

Today I sleep ~8 hours, and almost every aspect of life is better. Here is an ordered list of tips:
1. Schedule

Your mum was right: Go to bed and wake up at a consistent time. Weekends, weekdays, holidays, etc -- always stick to a routine!

If you sleep late after a night out, wake up early. If you're tired, resist going to bed early.

Eventually, sleep will become automatic.
2. Sleep hygiene

It's all about programming yourself for better sleep. Keep your room a sleep sanctuary. Resist working in there. Or even reading. The more things you associate your bedroom with, the weaker its automatic connection to sleep is.
Read 15 tweets
Dec 26, 2021
Fascinating that infinitely complex systems can be constructed from ONE key component. Examples:

- NAND gate and computers
- Neuron and brains/minds

What other systems are like that?
When I was designing a debugger I figured that you could construct it from one operation: STEP_IN which returns stack and other info. Then everything else could be on top of that. E.g STEP_OVER is simply a series of STEP_IN until the stack is length is equal to the starting point
It’s fun to design systems by boiling it down to one thing. But it might not be practical (eg slow). Nonetheless it gives you a better grasp on the problem.
Read 5 tweets

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