Why to Not Not Start a Startup. Lies We Tell Kids. Since this was the era of “get big fast,” I worried about how small and obscure we were. Graham, this can be as simple as a brief description of what you plan to do, how you plan to make money from it, and the resumes of the founders. But what people have now is often so bad that it doesn’t take brilliance to do better.

If you’re smart enough to worry that you might not be smart enough to start a startup, you probably are. As if to emphasize the point, Google never did any advertising. There is no rational way. Our offices were in a wooden triple-decker in Harvard Square. If they saw that, they’d want you to take more risks. If you’re still in school, you’re surrounded by potential cofounders.

If you build the simple, inexpensive option, you’ll not only find it easier to sell at first, but you’ll also be in the best position to conquer the rest of the market. hlw

Why to Not Not Start a Startup

And what I discovered was that business was no great mystery. In the technology market, often times pleasing customers means making your products simpler to use. But I will give you a couple reasons why a safe career might not be what your parents really want for you.

To start with, people are a recurring expense, which is the worst kind. If you ever end up running a company, you’ll find the most common question people ask is how many employees you have. If you’re the gtahams of person who would like to solve the money problem once and for all instead of working for a salary for 40 years, then a startup makes sense.


If you want ideas for startups, one of the most valuable things you could do is find a middle-sized non-technology company and spend a couple weeks just watching what they do with computers.

A startup that does all three essxy probably succeed. Call the person’s image to mind and imagine the sentence “so-and-so is an animal. Ideas for startups are worth something, certainly, but the trouble is, they’re not transferrable. No room for more startups A lot of people look at the ever-increasing number of startups and think “this can’t continue. Of the two versions, the one where you get a lot of customers fast is of course preferable.

No one dared put on attitude around Robert, because he was obviously smarter than they were and yet had zero attitude himself. In this case they were mostly negative lessons: Graham discusses how not to over-spend the money you raise, and how to know if starting a startup is right for you. Thi in turn will be an advantage to all employees going forward.

Key Lessons from Paul Graham’s Legendary Essay, ‘How to Start a Startup’: Part 3-of-3

After starting out as part of Y-Combinator, ClassDojo has now expanded to more than countries world-wide. I was forced into it because Fo was a Lisp hacker.

paul grahams essay how to start a startup

The business doesn’t have to be a startup. Once a company shifts over into the model where everyone drives home to the suburbs for dinner, however late, you’ve lost something extraordinarily valuable. Which means if you want to have them as colleagues, you have to work at something that pays the bills too, even though you don’t need to.


The Risk of Discovery. You don’t need or perhaps even want this quality in big companies, but you need it in a startup.

Key Lessons from Paul Graham’s Legendary Essay, ‘How to Start a Startup’: Part 1-of-3

And payl most of what big companies do is boring, you’re going to have to work on boring stuff. It’s true that a restaurant with mediocre food can sometimes attract customers through gimmicks. That’s the way to think about it if you’re trying to decide whether to start one.

That depends on how ambitious you feel.

paul grahams essay how to start a startup

Google is again a case in point. But if you’re starting a startup and you fall asleep in the middle of the day, your cofounders will just assume you were tired.

We thought so when we started ours, and we asked several people who were said to know about this mysterious thing called “business” if they would be the president. One of our goals with Y Combinator was to discover the lower bound on the age of startup founders. If you go to VC firms with a brilliant idea that you’ll tell them about if they sign a nondisclosure agreement, most will tell you to get lost. Was the person genuinely smart? You need three things to create a successful startup: