Symptoms of Passion

Seth Godin points out today in a blog post entitled Why downloading Firefox is like getting into college that the act of going to college does not guarantee success, but it is rather a symptom of someone who will succeed at other things. He continues his argument with reference to Firefox users:

…if someone is using Firefox, they’re way more likely to be using other power tools online. The reasoning: In order to use Firefox, you need to be confident enough to download and use a browser that wasn’t the default when you first turned on your computer.

That’s an empowering thing to do. It isolates you as a different kind of web user.

Paul Graham relates such actions to hackers who choose to use the best tools when hacking on their own instead of the tools they are confined to use at work.

Whenever you are passionate about something you are usually willing to go out of your way to learn as much as possible, use the tools you want to, take on projects that are “beneath you” or “over your head” and even jump through hoops if it means you will succeed or get what you want. You do not see them as to-do items, but building blocks to which you climb.