Are you a Hacker or a Hustler?

Micah Baldwin has a great post on what it takes to make a successful startup. One of the first questions you need to ask is if you have both a Hacker and a Hustler.

A Hacker is more than a code monkey, who can quickly build software and find interesting ways to hack together code. Thats a developer. Thats someone who is definitely an important part of a startup, but not critical to its success. A Hacker is someone who looks the problem, and solves it in a unique and special way. A Hacker finds the process of problem solving exciting and interesting, and spends the majority of their time looking at the problem in multiple ways, finding many potential solutions.


A Hustler on the other other hand is a relationship builder. Someone who can build direct relationships with their customers. They arent really promoters, although they do a lot of promotion. They arent salespeople, although they do a lot of selling. They are passion people. They have the ability to articulate their passion clearly and in a way that gets other people equally passionate.

Micah also writes about the current Posterous campaign, releasing a blog import service every few days, building buzz over the weeks. Bold and audacious the campaign has certainly generated its fair share of buzz, shaking a mostly complacent blog platform industry into reaction. The snarky headlines of each announcement are targeted perfectly towards the users of each platform and leave you wondering where they will aim next.

Riffing ideas like two jazz musicians

Todd Sampson and Eric Marcoullier of MyBlogLog fame are a classic Hacker & Hustler pair. It was great working with them and to see how these two childhood friends bounced ideas off of each other. Eric (the Hustler) was brilliant at latching MBL on to the latest meme trending on Techmeme as a way to garner attention and Todd (the Hacker)  never ceased to amaze me with his unique insight on the problems of the day. If you haven’t had the chance to try out their latest idea, definitely check out OneTrueFan, the browser plug-in that talks back.

So which one are you? The Hacker or the Hustler?





5 responses to “Are you a Hacker or a Hustler?”

  1. Tweets that mention Are you a Hacker or a Hustler? -- Avatar

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by ian kennedy. ian kennedy said: Are you a Hacker or a Hustler? […]

  2. Eric Marcoullier Avatar

    Dude, you’re the best. Come back to SF so we can work together again 🙂

    1. Todd Sampson Avatar

      Agreed… Can’t believe we both missed this post when it first came out. Get back to the States!

  3. iankennedy Avatar

    Thanks guys – you’re the best.

  4. How to find a technical co-founder | The Adventures of Chris Schultz Avatar

    […] What value do you bring? The technical co-founder perspective may be – “what do I need you for?” Know what value you bring and communicate it.  Be the hustler to their hacker. […]

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