Let’s take me as an example: I was a smart guy with a lot of real-world experience. I decided to start a professional services company for Apple technologies when Apple’s stock was below $10 per share. I had worked in the professional services team at NeXT and Apple, and I thought there was an opportunity doing training and consulting on Objective-C and its related technologies. I ran around explaining the beauty of these technologies to anyone who would listen, and Big Nerd Ranch managed to grow to seven employees.
Being smart and hard-working got me to seven employees. Luck took me the rest of the way.
During my recent talk at AltWWDC, I was asked what makes a good QA person. I think I said, “Doggedness.” Which in my personal lexicon is high praise. (When I think about my own abilities, I know full well that they exist only because I keep chasing sticks and don’t ever stop, not out of any innate talent.)
Here’s the thing about Nick: I think he’s convinced that there’s another bug. And he’ll keep going till he finds it. And, once he finds it, he’s convinced that there’s another bug.