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Startup Notes: Before the Startup (Paul Graham)

Abhinav Reddy - Mar 8, 2021

Created - Feb 28, 2021

The following series covers my personal notes about startups. Up today is YCombinator. YCombinator is one of the oldest (and most successfully) technology accelerators in the world. You can read more about them here.


- Startups are counter-intuitive. If you follow your gut instincts, it will probably lead you astray (2:30)

- Being an expert in startups will not give you an edge in succeeding at startups. What you need is expertise in your own users (5:30)

- Gaming the system stops working for startups. There is no admissions board or managers to fool, nor any artificial tests to take or assignments to fake (11:25)

- You might be able to fool investors, but that wont do anything but delay your inevitable failure. It is like pulling a con-job on yourself (12:50)

- Startups are all consuming. It will take over your life, and the hard problems will never really stop coming (14:30)

- Don't try to think of "startup ideas". You will come up with plausible-sounding, but bad ideas likely to waste your time and end up in failure. Instead, work on problems that you find interesting, and let the ideas come to you (24:42)


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Abhinav Reddy

"It is always impossible, until it is done" - Nelson, Mandela