That “Advice to my 16-Year-Old Self” meme

Okay, okay, c’mon. Everyone wishes they could go back in time–“If I knew then what I know now”–except that the experiences you had because you didn’t know then are the reason you know now. Good judgement comes from experience; experience comes from bad judgement.

Which is not to say that there aren’t things I’d tell my 16-year-old self. If I could go back in time, the things I’d tell my 16-year-old self are:

– When Microsoft goes public, convince your parents to mortgage the house and spend money on stock.

– When Apple goes public, wait ’til after the release of the //c, and buy stock. Sell it just before Steve Jobs gets forced out, then buy a bunch more just before he comes back.

– All that time you spent teaching yourself everything about CP/M? Spend it learning more about Unix instead. Pay particular attention to networking. Pay extra special attention to IP networking; in a few months, the Arpanet is going to change over to TCP/IP, and the new network will be dubbed “the Internet.” It’s going to be a big deal, I promise.

– The Illinois Lotto numbers on the week of your sixteenth birthday will be 09-11-36-37-39-40. Buy more Microsoft stock.

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