Some people seem to have interpreted
You Weren't Meant to Have a Boss as putting down
programmers who work for big companies. Jeff Atwood reproduced
one quote summarizing it as saying:
Oh... you haven't founded a company? You suck.
In fact the thesis of the essay is exactly the opposite: that
although the press treats startup founders as gods, the differences
between them and other programmers are due less to their nature
than to their work environment. Here is the beginning of the
Watching employees get transformed into founders makes it clear
that the difference between the two is due mostly to environment...
Why are people reading an essay that says this, and coming away
with the idea that it says exactly the opposite?
My guess is that this is an instance of a fairly common Internet
phenomenon. People are reacting to what they imagine I'd say
in an essay on this subject—that an essay comparing startup founders to
corporate employees would say that founders are great and
corporate employees suck.
Actually that has not been our experience. Startup founders are
not somehow set apart from "ordinary" programmers. Lots more
people could start startups if they wanted to. In fact, our
business model depends on it. If the pool of founders was
limited to a few rare geniuses, Y Combinator wouldn't work.