Simon

Musings of a curious developer 📖

Notes from Future Founder's track

Here are some notes that I've taken down from the future founder's track by YC. Hope they'll be useful to you as they are to me. I also highlighted a few key points.


Why to not not start a startup by Paul Graham #

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  1. Too Young. Age doesn't necessarily correlate to maturity. A simple test would be to see how one reacts to a challenge. Do they immediately dismiss it as a stupid idea or do they probe deeper to understand why.
  2. Too inexperienced. The best way to get experience running a startup is to start a startup. Getting a normal job for a few years might turn you into someone that cannot move forward without being told.
  3. Not determined enough. If you sufficiently driven to work on your own projects, you are probably determined enough.
  4. Not smart enough. If you're smart enough to worry about not being smart enough to start a startup, you're probably are.
  5. Knows nothing about business. The initial focus is on the product. It must be something that people want, not something you think people want. Don't worry about making money, that's the easy part.
  6. No cofounder. It's hard to argue against this because a good cofounder is very important. Single founder startups are very tough. The older you grow, the harder it is to find a cofounder within your circle so start early! Young people have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
  7. No idea. Many startups pivot from their original idea to find product market fit. It also helps if you're good at making things. Find something that's missing in your own life and supply that need no matter how specific to you it seems.
  8. No room for more startups. Why would there be a limit for something valuable? If what you want to do will solve the need for a group of people better than any solution out there, you have a startup idea.
  9. Family to support. You shouldn't start a startup if you have a family unless you have the financial runway. If you really want to do it, start a consulting business on the side and turn that into a product business. Best to start when you're young and have no commitments.
  10. Independently wealthy. Startups are stressful so why do it if you don't need the money? There are many more interesting people doing regular jobs to pay the bills so if you want them as colleagues, you'll have to work at something that pays the bill even if you don't need to.
  11. Not ready for commitment. A successful startup is going to take at least 3-4 years. If you're not ready for commitment at that scale, don't do it.
  12. Need for structure. If you need people to tell you what to do, don't start a startup. A startup requires people to know what to do without someone else telling them what to do. Think of it as a soccer team. If you get angry when someone says you're not independent enough, you probably don't need someone to tell you what to do.\
  13. Fear of uncertainty. If you start a startup, it will probably fail. There is no uncertainty. Hope for the best but expect the worst. It'll still be one hell of a ride, you'll learn a lot and in the best case, you become rich.
  14. Don't realise what you're avoiding. People who've been working for a year or two knows what they're avoid, they know the regular 9-5 job sucks.
  15. Parents want you to be a doctor. Parents are generally more conservative for you. They want you to be a doctor not because you save lifes but because it is a prestigeous job that pays well. There's still a correlation between risk and reward.
  16. A job is the default. Defaults are powerful but without people straying from the norm, we will never make progress. Startups are a rare historic shift in the way wealth is created.

Before the startup by Paul Graham #

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How to get startup ideas by Jared Friedman #

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How to get startup ideas by Paul Graham #

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How to Talk to Users by Eric Migicovsky #

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How to pitch your startup by Kevin Hale #

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How to evaluate startup ideas by Kevin Hale #

Even though this isn't part of the future founder's track, I just thought I'd add it here as well because I found this very useful.

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How to find the right co-founder by Harj Taggar #

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How to work together by Kevin Hale #

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How to Get and Test Startup Ideas by Michael Seibel #

Another one that's not part of the future founder's track but I'm adding it here as well

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How to Split Equity Among Co-Founders by Michael Seibel #

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How to Plan an MVP by Michael Seibel #

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How to Launch (Again and Again) by Kat Manalac #

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How to prioritize your time by Adora Cheung #

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YC's Essential Startup Advice by Geoff Ralston, Michael Seibel #

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Do things that don't scale by Paul Graham #

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Startup = Growth by Paul Graham #

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I did not read this yet because I do not have any customers to put my product in their hands yet.