“1. Work Ethic. First thing I noticed was that everyone regardless of occupation took pride in doing a bang-up job, even when no one looked. I asked people: ‘why do you pour everything into a job even when it is seemingly thankless?’ And it was like asking fish ‘what is water?’
“2. Lack of corruption. In the 10 years in the US, I’ve never been asked for a bribe, and that’s surprising. When you know that you predictably get to keep a sizeable portion of the value you create and that no one will arbitrarily stop you, it makes it easier to be ambitious.
“3. Win-win mindset. People don’t try to screw you on deals, they play the long game, and align incentives in such a way that everyone wins. This is especially apparent in Silicon Valley where you can’t underestimate anyone because one day you might be working for them.
“4. Rewarding talent. From sports to engineering, America is obsessed with properly rewarding talent. If you’re good, you’ll get recognized. The market for talent is dynamic—if you don’t feel valued today, you can find a better place tomorrow.
“5. Open to weirdos. Because you never know where the next tech, sports, or arts innovation will come from, America had to be open to weirdness. Weirdos thrive without being crushed. We employ people with the most interesting backgrounds—dropouts to artists—they’re awesome!
“6. Forgiveness. Weird and innovative people have to put themselves out there, and as part of that, they’re going to make mistakes in public. The culture here values authenticity, and if you’re authentic and open about your failures, you’ll get a second and a third chance.
“7. Basic infrastructure. Americans take care of their public spaces. Parks are clean, subways and busses run on time, and utilities & services just work. Because life can be livable for a time without income, it was possible for us to quit our jobs and bootstrap our business.
“8. Optimism. When you step foot in the US there is a palpable sense of optimism. People believe that tomorrow will be better than today. They don’t know where progress will come from, but that’s why they’re open to differences. When we started up even unbelievers encouraged us.https://tpc.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html
READ MORE DECLARATIONS
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“9. Freedom. Clearly a cliche, but it’s totally true. None of the above works if you’re not free to explore & tinker, to build companies, and to move freely. I still find it amazing that if I respect the law and others, I can do whatever I want without being compelled/restricted.
“10. Access to capital. It’s a lot harder to innovate & try to change the world without capital. If you have a good idea & track record, then someone will be willing to bet on you. The respect for entrepreneurship in this country is inspiring. And it makes the whole thing tick.”