Avoiding the popularity contest

When I was in high school, I wanted to be a farmer.  I still do, but not in the conventional sense.  I recollect in my last year of high school, some of the guys were asking other students their desired profession.  I remember giving my answer and the other students being incredulous.  Why? At the time I couldn't put a definite answer on it, but I wanted to do it, not traditional farming but automated farming.

Yesterday in a lecture, I told my students why they should choose Mathematics or Science based courses to study. I articulated that Mathematics is a subject that you can prove yourself to be right; it is an objective subject.  I recall in my final year of undergrad, I got a failing grade on an exam.  I knew this couldn't be.  I knew everything on the subject like the back of my hand.  I went to the lecturer and showed him that the program that I wrote on the exam paper if you enter it into the computer it would compile and run, perfectly.  He changed my grade to 100%.  I could never do this for subjects like Literature or English which are subjective, where if I didn't hold the same opinion or favour of the lecturer I would have failed.

Along the way,  I missed my path.  I started to do things that requires me to be in the good graces of others, ie popularity contests.  What am I talking about? Startups.  You need to incur the favor of customers and investors.  I tried all my life to avoid popularity contest, but I had slipped up. I started doing stuff that that requires others approval to be successful.  It's only in the lecture I began to realise my mistake.  I should have stuck with Agriculture(subsistence farming), a field where I don't require others to be successful, and applied modern technology to ease the burdens of the job.  Subsistence farming is a field that is objective and doesn't require approval from others, me against nature.

I have added to my cadre of heurtistic: "Avoid Popularity Contests."