What is this - is anyone making money?

Kay C Lan lan.kc.macmail at gmail.com
Sat Aug 22 21:32:24 EDT 2015

Richard wrote:

> To be good at anything is a function of time spent practicing.  Malcolm
> Gladwell estimates that the time needed to truly master just about anything
> is roughly 10,000 hours.  So at 5,000 hours one can expect to at least be
> very good, and at 1,000 hours far better off than not having spent the time
> studying the task at all.

Todd wrote:

> The real critical problem is many expect LC to be a genie in a bottle and
> grant you three profitable apps.
> Mostly, it is lack of experience that has created this illusion.
> Many do indeed purchase LiveCode like they do language software and thing
> the will learn to speak French simply by osmosis.

So therein lies the real question. Basically everyone here, and certainly
Apple/MetaCard/RunRev and now LC all claim that xTalk and their IDE of the
day helped to make you productive faster. So does Gladwell's estimate of
10000hrs apply or is there something magic within LC that gets you to your
goal faster? Personally I think there is a bit of magic.

Firstly, let's take the 10000hrs. If that is correct it suggests that
whether I choose Java or LC it's going to take the same time for me to
master either. I don't buy that. If it were true, then it doesn't bode well
for LC, because what it's saying is, pick your language wisely because
either way it's going to take the same effort to master so it will be other
factors, like how many open source projects are out there that use the
language, what is the size of the community that use it, how many major
companies already use software written in the language, how well respected
is the language in the community at large, etc, etc which should determine
you choice of language.

IMO, some people can learn French through osmosis, but I'm certainly not
one of them. On the other side of the coin, for myself and I know for
others, there is something about the xtalk language that just clicked with
me. I've tried C, C++, Objective C, Java, Javascript, Applescript some
Basic and probably one or two others that failed to take hold. To be
brutally honest, the language I'd like to learn the most is Java, there are
a bunch of OSS projects out there that are written in Java that I would
just love to participate in, but the language doesn't work for me like LC
does. Is it because I've been spoilt with HC/LC, it's so easy to create a
quick and dirty app yet in other languages you just seem to get dirty and
stay that way for ages. Are we back at Gladwell's 10000 hrs? Is there a
difference at 100 hrs and 1000 hrs with Java/C/Pick a language vs LC that
gives you a false impression but at the end of the day you still need 10000
hrs. Again, I don't think so.

The way I see it Gladwell shouldn't have used hours, it should have been a
unit applicable to the profession, and the thought that 10000 applies to
everyone is just ridiculous - there has to be a bit of magic, a gift, an
inherent talent as well. You can't turn a 300lb professional footballer
into a ballet dancer and you can't turn someone with spacial awareness
problems into a trapeze artist.

Give a builder an electric hammer, and electric saw and an electric screw
driver will he become a master builder faster than the guy with the manual
tools. Yes, because it isn't 10000 hrs it's 10000 nails, or it's 10 houses.
Becoming a master builder isn't about how well you draw a saw blade across
a piece of lumber, it's is the cut perpendicular; it isn't about how well
you swing a hammer, it's is the nail driven straight; it isn't about how
well you twist a screw driver, it's is the screw driven home with the right
amount of torque. If modern tools give you a perpendicular cut, nails
driven straight, and screws torqued to perfection then why waste time?

For programming, if the syntax for C or Pascal or Assembly language is much
or a muchness to you, then you are gifted, maybe LC doesn't offer you much
at all; but if LC clicked with your brain then a genie has just handed you
an electric hammer, an electric saw and an electric screw driver. Next,
it's 10000 lines of productive code, not hours that will make the
difference. And I think everyone here knows that overall LC gets things
done in less lines of code than other languages. Also, for good or bad, we
tend to spend less time writing lines and lines of comments as the code in
many instances is self explanatory.

So the crux comes down to this. IMO your ability to make money with LC has
nothing to do with the language and everything to do with your business
acumen, which Richard and Todd have already pointed out will take a lot of
skill, effort and time. In this regard Gladwell is probably correct, it
wont matter what business it is, or what tools you are using, it's going to
take YOU the same 10000 whatevers to master the business.

Once you've mastered those business skills, then LC will let you take
advantage of them faster.

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