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When we set out on a new task there are things we need to know to bring that enterprise to a successful conclusion. It is therefore necessary to list the various skills you will need, and to learn and practice them beforehand. One of the proofs that you have attained sufficient skill to do a certain thing is to sell it for some amount of money. It doesn’t matter how much money, because the idea is that someone, anyone, is willing to give you something they value for your product.

I have observed many times people of modest ability with a not particularly interesting product pursue this obvious course and go from being a starving student to becoming a person of worldwide importance. The key is to get the thing out there and sell it for money. Some people who followed this plan started in college, and some even before high school. Ray Kurzweil is a good example. He pursued his goal of being an inventor from the age of five, and he is now at Google. He was hired by Larry Page when he and Kurzweil agreed on a one-sentence job description: “to bring natural language understanding to Google”.

Any brilliant person can succeed if they get started early in life.