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Startup Notes: Design for Startups (Garry Tan)

Abhinav Reddy - Mar 25, 2021

Created - Mar 8, 2021

The following series covers my personal notes about startups. Today we are going to explore design with Garry Tan. He was a co-founder of Posterous, an investor and partner at YCombinator, and now a founder and managing partner at Initialized Capital. Garry started his career as an engineer, but was able to teach himself how to design great product. As someone trying to do the same, I found his advice extremely helpful.



- De-label yourself. Think of yourself as smart person capable of learning anything. Stop thinking "Im not a designer, I cant do X." (1:13)

- Empathize with your users. Listen to them when they speak, and be polite. When a user engages with your product, that is an experience. You need to understand your users to create the best possible experience (2:30

- Illuminate the path. Call their attention to the actions that will solve their problems. Tell the user what to do, and guide them down the happy path (6:24)

- Minimize the non-essential (8:20)

- Make something great. Use contrast to emphasize important concepts. Group related concepts together. Leverage these two simple principles to create great visual layouts.


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Abhinav Reddy

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