In looking back on his first company Mr. Also by growing slowly, an early startup is able to give its customers lots of personal attention. If they want you to be a doctor, odds are it’s not just because they want you to help the sick, but also because it’s a prestigious and lucrative career. That’s the key to success as a startup. But at least you’ll never be without an income.

We may be seeing another such change right now. And as you go down the food chain the VCs get rapidly dumber. The project may even grow into a startup. And while they probably have bigger ambitions now, this alone brings them a billion dollars a year. Your email address will not be published. As with the question of cofounders, the real lesson here is to start startups when you’re young.

These angels can help with the legal side of things and commonly make introductions to other investors who may come on board for subsequent rounds of funding. You grahamw try to get people to pay you for stuff. As a kid there’s a magic button you can press by saying “I’m just a kid” that will get you out of most difficult situations.

How to Start a Startup

Those hours after the phone stops ringing are by far the gfahams for getting work done. But that wears off after a few months.

Do the founders of a startup have to include business people? With regard to experienced businesspeople Mr. All investors, without exception, are more likely to fund you with a cofounder than without.


Of those first eight startups, three are now probably dead.

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

You might think that anyone in a business must, ex officio, understand it. Instead of telling you “come on, you can do it” I’m going stxrt consider all the reasons you aren’t doing it, and show why most but not all should be ignored. The next round of funding is the one in which you might deal with actual venture capital firms.

paul grahams essay how to start a startup

Graham deals with the heart of the matter: At this stage the company is just a bet. A lot of would-be startup founders think the key to the whole process is the initial idea, and from that point all you have to do is execute.

What You Can’t Say. And they’re going to be a lot more impressed grahasm the answer is a thousand than if it’s ten. Venture capitalists know better. If no one wants to work with you on your current idea, switch to an idea people want to work on.

paul grahams essay how to start a startup

At sales I was not very good. If there are seven or eight, disagreements can linger and harden into factions. We never even considered that approach.

I realized these tests existed after meeting Sam Altman, actually. Why don’t more people apply?


The other reason to spend money slowly is to encourage a culture of cheapness. There could be ten times more startups than there are, and that would probably be a good thing. And while it must seem to anyone watching this world that startups are popping up like crazy, the number is small graham to the number of people with the necessary skills.

And if it succeeds, you may find you no longer have such a burning desire to be an assistant professor. The New Funding Landscape.

paul grahams essay how to start a startup

Five Questions about Language Design. The only kind of software you can build without studying users is the sort for which you are the typical user. Not ready for commitment This was my reason for not starting a startup for most of my twenties. Graham, the most likely hire you will make early on are of friends and personal contacts. But many will want a copy of your business plan, if only to remind themselves what they invested in. And when business people try to hire hackers, they can’t tell which ones are good.