I read today's articles about Markus Persson with interest. I know the story, I experienced it myself a long time ago. Achieving all the success you wanted is not as simple as you might think. I've written about that before here on my blog, that's not the purpose of this piece.
Here are the three tweets everyone is quoting:
#1: "Found a great girl, but she's afraid of me and my lifestyle and went with a normal person instead."
#2: "I would Musk and try to save the world, but that just exposes me to the same type of assholes that made me sell minecraft again."
#3: "People who made sudden success are telling me this is normal and will pass. That's good to know! I guess I'll take a shower then!"
It's #2 that's the most disturbing to me.
I ask this question because I did the same thing with blogging and RSS. I walked away from it because defending against personal attacks got to be all I was doing. The people who were trying to trash my rep were experts. I had forgotten how bad it was, until (also yesterday) I read my blog archive from late August 2005. I had pointed to it because of the ten-year Katrina anniversary. But also intermixed in there were my responses to all the trashing. No, there was no justification for it, other than people didn't want me to be able to do what I was doing, I guess. Or they were jealous. Or who the fuck knows. All I know for sure is that I wanted to work with other people, and there were people working in the shadows making sure that no one would work with me.
I think the mistake successful tech people make that people in other arts don't is we tend to believe in the communication tools, and we want to use them the same we did before we became targets. But as your influence, fame and fortune grow, so does your follower count, and so does the hate.
A guy who was able to create something as wonderful as Minecraft should, if he wants to, be creating the next thing after Minecraft! Did the Beatles stop recording after Sgt Pepper? We need to create safe contexts for our superstars to keep doing what they love to do.