Ask HN: Why do you work so hard?

20 points | by betterapps 505 days ago


  • Antoninus 505 days ago

    It is the only variable I can control in my life. Of all the great people I have met, diligence followed by honesty have been their most memorable and admirable traits. You can have a great work ethic and ask existential questions too.

    • mitak 504 days ago

      I work hard when I enjoy it (when the work is interesting).

      Otherwise I have a certain tolerance threshold for boredom - if it crosses that (I know it when I feel it) I'll find another job.

      • vkaku 504 days ago

        I don't. I never work till the point of exhaustion, or I'll usually end up hating it. I also never work when I feel that need to take a rushed decision.

        I work only because I like to work. And If I have to work long hours doing things I like, I would not be working hard.

        • maceurt 502 days ago

          I try not to ask existential questions it seems to only lead down the road of deppression and nihilism. I work hard, because it seems to be one of the only things that makes me satisfied. Video games, tv, etc. may be pleasurable in the moment, but it is definitely not satisfying for my own life.

          • protonimitate 503 days ago

            I work hard so that the end of my life, nobody can attribute the things I accomplished to 'being lucky' or 'being privileged'.

            I acknowledge that those I have luck and privilege. Everyone does. But I don't want my biggest accomplishments to be "he was in the right place at the right time."

            • badpun 505 days ago

              Personally, I'd like to contribute something that's just good in quality. The world has so many poor quality "MVP" products and solutions out there, I'd like to do something solid. Of course, it requires much more work than the hacked together MVP approach - hence the requirement to work hard.

              • quickthrower2 505 days ago

                MVP isn't about not working hard, it's about getting something out sooner to validate that there is a market. You then put the hard work into a product that is more likely to succeed.

                • badpun 504 days ago

                  I don't want a product that just "succeeds" (in monetary terms). I want to make something that is not of questionable/poor quality. I guess it's about the difference between a craftsman and a businessman. Businessmen are happy selling poor quality products to customers, as long as the hit to reputation does not endanger their profits. Craftsmen won't be happy doing it, even if they can get away with it.

                  And I get the fact that, if you're making a product that's never been done before, then MVP releases are partly about market research. Not all software is innovative though, and often you just want to produce a good contender on the market that's already established (say, like the Sublime Editor). In such case, there's no need for the MVP approach.

                  The fact of the matter is that there's tons of successful products, that are way past their MVP phase, which never stopped sucking from technical standpoint. Heck, I'm watching Netflix on its Windows app right now, and the app has serious issues.

                  • thisismyswamp 503 days ago

                    Nature works with MVPs, that's why you have fingers on your feet and an appendix that has a tendency to inflame.

                    Perhaps by the time your solid, perfect solution is out, society will have moved on. Solutions aren't permanent - we want artificial organs now, but if you take too long to get them into market, by the time you do we'll all have robotic organs already.

                    Reality moves fast and everything is an MVP, a means to an end.

                    I know by solid you don't mean perfect though, just trying to give a different perspective.

                • whttheuuu 504 days ago

                  lol, you my friend are very confused.

                • tedmiston 505 days ago

                  I somewhat enjoy creating half-baked / just okay / MVP things (product), but I get a ton of enjoyment by making really great things. Polishing to greatness is like compounding dividends to me.

                  At a higher level, my answer would be intellectual curiosity.

                  • quickthrower2 505 days ago

                    I try not to work too hard, you can't run a marathon by sprinting every mile.

                    • CloudNetworking 503 days ago

                      I don't. I've found (survivorship bias incoming) that I get better results if I don't work hard. More money, more recognition, better conditions, etc

                      • twoquestions 503 days ago

                        Because I feel bad about myself if I'm not completely exhausted in every way by the end of the day. Probably a less than healthy habit.

                        • malux85 504 days ago

                          I didn’t understand why until I saw one of Jordan Peterson’s videos where he described the hyper industrious people. He said there’s a small portion of the population who just work because we enjoy it.

                          If you put me in the forest with an axe, I’d just cut down trees non stop.

                          I think it’s because we humans are beasts of burden - without a task (or more specifically without - mastery, autonomy and purpose) we whither and die, and it’s natural in a healthy population that there’s variance in the desire for work (burden) and I just seem to love it.

                          It’s nof for everyone, and I don’t look down or resent those who do not work - because I’m doing this by choice. I truly enjoy working to the limits of my capability and pushing myself, not for fame, recognition or ego, but ultimately the desire to help others.

                          This seems to be the best explanation so far...