“Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it … he who doesn’t … pays it.”
As Einstein stated, compound interest is a powerful force.
I’m also a big believer that learning also compounds. The more you learn, the more you’re able expand that learning and the broader connections you’re then able to make. The earlier you start, the progressively larger it gets over time.
For example, I learnt more in my final year of university than in my previous four years because my year-long research topic* was much harder than I originally surmised and it required a huge uplift in cross-domain learning to get it done.
OSS was/is the same. I worked 80+ hour weeks for multiple years whilst getting paid for a 40 hour week. Not so clever financially, but on the plus side those early learnings have definitely snowballed in later years, providing opportunities that would’ve never happened otherwise.
Through PassionateAboutOSS.com I was recently approached by a PhD student to write research papers and a thesis in NMS. Ethical concerns notwithstanding, credit goes to this student for leveraging OPT (Other People’s Time). But on the flip-side, if this student finds someone to do the research for him he is missing out on the huge future value of current learnings.
* My final year research topic was to design and build a WDM (Wavelength Division Multiplexing) optical fibre network from the ground up (from resistors, capacitors, lasers, splitters, etc.)