Noted author and columnist for the Wall Street Journal Peggy Noonan penned something I'd like to share with you today. Please take a moment to read through and if compelled let me know what you think.
Amjad Masad came to America in January 2012. He was from Amman, Jordan, and 24. He came because his father, a Palestinian immigrant to Jordan and a government worker, bought him a computer when he was six. Amjad fell in love and discovered his true language. He studied the history of the computer and became enamored of the U.S. and Silicon Valley. He imagined the latter as a futuristic place with flying cars and floating buildings. He saw the 1999 movie “Pirates of Silicon Valley,” about Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, and decided America was the place he must be.
His memory of arriving at John F. Kennedy International Airport is a jumble, but what he saw from the bridge going into Manhattan was unforgettable—the New York skyline gleaming in the distance. It was like a spiritual experience. He was here.
He settled in New York, worked at a startup, then moved west—he needed to be in Silicon Valley. Five years ago, he became co-founder and CEO of Replit, a company that offers tools to learn programming. It employs 40 people full-time and 10 contractors.
On Tuesday afternoon Mr. Masad, who became a citizen in 2019, thought about the 10th anniversary of his arrival. He was so grateful for three things: a company, a family, a house. He and his wife and business partner, Haya Odeh, also from Jordan, started talking about America. At 3:56 p.m. ET, he posted a Twitter thread.
“I landed in the United States 10 years ago with nothing but credit card debt. After one startup exit, one big tech job, and one unicorn, I genuinely believe that it wouldn’t have been possible anywhere else in the world. Here are 10 things that I love about this country:
“1. Work Ethic. First thing I noticed was that everyone regardless of occupation took pride in doing a bang-up job, even when no one looked. I asked people: ‘why do you pour everything into a job even when it is seemingly thankless?’ And it was like asking fish ‘what is water?’
“2. Lack of corruption. In the 10 years in the US, I’ve never been asked for a bribe, and that’s surprising. When you know that you predictably get to keep a sizeable portion of the value you create and that no one will arbitrarily stop you, it makes it easier to be ambitious.
“3. Win-win mindset. People don’t try to screw you on deals, they play the long game, and align incentives in such a way that everyone wins. This is especially apparent in Silicon Valley where you can’t underestimate anyone because one day you might be working for them.