Confidence, Competence, & Gravity

Reader, I’d like to share three thoughts I had this morning with you.

These ideas are presented as if they’re specific to me, but the takeaways are generalizable for almost anyone. I hope you enjoy.

Blind Confidence

If I knew how hard building software – and doing it well – is, I never would’ve tried to learn.
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I’ve am smart – and have become hardworking – enough to succeed at it, but there’s no way 2018 Fritz would’ve believed that.

Things that are extremely hard are easier to accomplish for people who don’t know how hard the thing they’re seeking to accomplish is.

My best example of this? I work in private equity on Wall Street.

I almost dropped out of high school & didn’t go to college. Now? I’m crushing it because I didn’t realize how long the odds were at first.

Stacked Competence

It’s fine for my core strength to be building software. I enjoy it & I can get paid very well for doing it if I play my cards right.
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I don’t need to be good at investing or sales, or almost anything else if I can nail what Iā€™m great at.

It’s better to make friends & build a community of people with different skills than it is to be a jack-of-all-trades.

This is something 2022 Fritz found hard to swallow. He struggled to build connections to people he saw as worth spending time with, and that made “doing everything himself” seem desirable. Reader, it is not.

It is, however, good to have a baseline level of competency in other areas so that you can check assumptions & make informed guesses outside your specialty.

The Gravity of Trust

One of the drums my friend Moses Kagan bangs on is that raising capital that people sweated & bled for is a big deal. The gravity of that trusting act isn’t to be taken lightly.

I dodged a bullet by not raising money to build a company on two occasions. If raising money doesn’t feel like it creates a massive obligation for you, don’t.
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As a final thought…

One of the two prospective investors in question is someone I consider a close friend. My readers who find this post from Twitter would likely know of him.

Had he invested, I’d have squandered his $ with my inexperience.

I’d much rather have the relationship with him that I do than having prolonged a failed venture.


Thank you for reading. I hope you found this article worthwhile. If you did, consider subscribing to my newsletter, where I share more of my writing & thoughts.

Author: Fritz Johnson

Fritz Johnson is a self-taught software engineer working on Wall Street.

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