That first company I started made a lot of money for the venture capitalists - nearly $30 million - but next to nothing for the founders. The companies I started after that varied between failures and mediocre successes. But at no point did I ever consider getting a 'real job.' That felt like a black and white world, and I wanted Technicolor.
Some people ask why we don't just wait until we have the whole story before posting. The fact is that we sometimes can't get to the end story without going through this process... When a story is up and posted, it's amazing how many people come out of the woodwork to give us additional information... And readers love it.
Success in Silicon Valley, most would agree, is more merit-driven than almost any other place in the world. It doesn't matter how old you are, what sex you are, what politics you support or what color you are. If your idea rocks and you can execute, you can change the world and/or get really, stinking rich.
Leaving America means renouncing your citizenship, moving out of the country and leaving family and friends behind. You can retain your citizenship if you like, but you'll still be away from loved ones and still be paying taxes. You lose all the good stuff about America and have to keep all the bad stuff.