Notes by bira from HN comment

  • Startups are very counter-intuitive – if you trust and never question your intuition you will make mistakes
  • Startups are so weird that you will make mistakes if you follow your instincts. That’s why at YC partners give advices to founders, to warn them about these counter-intuitive mistakes.
  • Trust your instincts about people. A mistake founders often make is not trusting their instincts about people. In business pick people like you would pick friends.
  • You don’t need expertise in startups to succeed in startups. What you need is expertise in your users. Zuckemberg wasn’t an expert on startups but he knew his users and what they wanted.
  • Another mistake founders is not making something people want first but “playing house”: they come up with a plausible idea, raise money, rent an nice office in SOMA and hire their friends to later figure they have no product. Why? Cause they have been trained to believe this is how you do it. They measure success by how much money they have raised.
  • They are always looking for a trick: What’s the trick to raise capital? Start a startup that’s growing fast and let investors know about it What’s the trick to grow? Make something people want.
  • Tricks and gaming the system doesn’t work in startups. There are no bosses to trick, only users to build good software for and make happy.
  • Startups are time consuming: they will take over your life time in a way you can’t imagine now. If it’s successful it will take over your life time for several years. There is a cost opportunity here. It’s like having kids, it will change your life (kids are awesome – pg)
  • What you really need to learn are your users’ needs. University can’t teach that.
  • You can’t start a startup in college. If you do, you won’t be a student for long.
  • DON’T START A STARTUP IN COLLEGE. There are things you can only do when you are 20, like backpacking around Thailand that people like Zuckemberg won’t ever be able to do. So wait.
  • While you are in college, come up with an idea and meet your future founders, friends you love to spend time and work with.
  • The way to get startup ideas is not to think about having good startups ideas: you’ll get bad and plausible ideas that will end up wasting your time.
  • To have a good idea, take a step back and don’t even try.
  • You can have them unconsciously if:
    1. You learn a lot of things that matter
    2. Work on problems that interest you with people you respect
  • Be on the edge of some technology, live in the future: you will be able to spot good ideas where other won’t. They won’t look like startup ideas but they will look good, like a search engine for example.
  • If you want to start a startup later in life, learn important things and be genuinely

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