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ok — so i imagine dating your future husband or wife might start out a bit weird, and i imagine sailing into uncharted waters can be uncomfortable.

the college line is a bit difft. i actually felt weird when i first got to college and to grad school. the general creation of a social circle from ground zero with the constant intros etc is just weird. i never really got the hang of it honestly, but yeah — it’s weird.

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seriously — the volume of people who think the fact that they have an idea means they have a startup is startling. an idea means you have free time — it does not mean you have a startup. ok this isn’t an explanation, it’s more of a rant, but goes into the motivation for this essay.

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it really is frustrating when you can’t answer this question. if i were to have a good response to it at all, i would have said, “we answer the question — what does nfc developers and engineers need?”

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i like to think about lewis and clark a lot when i think of entrepreneurship. they set out, funded by jefferson, to find an all water passage to connect the united states to the pacific. what they found, was a bevy of new experiences, a host of new people, swaths of land that would someday become some of the most important parts of the united states, and no all water passages. that’s a great way of thinking about being an entrepreneur. set out with a goal, venture in to the darkness, keep at it, and — based on persistence alone — you will unearth a ton of wealth and bring value to the world around you.

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my cofounder and i once manually programmed 25,000 tags for an ad campaign put on by nokia in india by tapping each individual with an android phone. we did this over the course of three days effectively wrecking our bodies.

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in some ways, i literally mean this.

we travelled to singapore and korea to see markets in which nfc was used prevalently (and later we saw the same in taiwan / taipei). we also went to shenzen, where we saw the production of nfc materials. we took every opportunity we could find to place ourselves in environments that would simulate a world in which nfc was actually everywhere. we wanted to think about that world — not the one we lived in.

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at the time, only one phone supported nfc in the us: the nexus s. nfc payments were a big deal on the horizon, but they had been for quite some time. it was still something that hadn’t quite happened yet. the lack of support and infrastructure for a developer community / world around nfc was astounding. a lot of that has changed in the past year, but at the time it was truly a technology without infrastructure.

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this is not unheard of. y-combinator, in fact, welcomes such people now: http://ycombinator.com/noidea.html

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Most startups, of course, pitch themselves in such a way that isn’t quite faithful to the underlying truth. I doubt Facebook initially set out to “connect people in interesting and unique ways.” But rhetoric goes a long way and is important to a product’s identity. The point I’m trying to make in this entry, however, is that while the rhetoric is important to the identity of a product, it is often not actually how the product is formed, so you need not follow it when creating something of your own…

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well that’s not entirely true. a few people were — but they weren’t doing a very good job of it. prices were either too high, varieties were limited, or customization wasn’t offered.

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