YC Startup School
Found this amazing playlist on the YCombinator Youtube channel about the basics of startups and it’s called the Startup School:
Next Blog Post:[YC Startup School] Key takeaways from “How to get and evaluate ideas”[YC Startup School] Startup Business Models and Pricing[YC Startup School] How to talk to Users[YC Startup School] How to get your first customers
My notes on “Should You Start A Startup” with Harj Taggar
Q. Who is Harj Taggar?
→ YCombinator Group Partner, former co-founder of TripleByte, GP, and now he’s a startup investor!
Useful but not necessary in the long run (for becoming a successful startup founder):
You don’t need to be a ruthless, brilliant programmer like Zuckerberg in The Social Network.
You don’t need to be a charismatic product genius like Jobs.
You don’t need to be from a reputed university.
You don’t need to have good grades.
You don’t need to be loud and confident.
Resilience: the most essential quality in successful startup founders
Q. What is resilience?
Capacity to withstand or bounce back from difficult situations, circumstances
Q. Why do startup founders need to be resilient?
→ Because of the numerous challenges faced:
- Lack of funding, limited resources
- Technical difficulties and product failures
- Employee turnover and team challenges
- Legal and regulatory hurdles
Some of the most confident-looking people aren’t resilient.
Some of the quietest, non-attention-grabbing people turned out to be the most resilient people ever.
Example: CEO of Benchling (YC S12, B2B SaaS Biotech): Sajith Wickramasekara
Q. What’s the difference between a resilient founder and an equally talented but not resilient one?
→ Being genuinely interested in the problem you’re working on.
→ Love the people you are working with.
Q. Is initial motivation, the reason to found a startup also important?
→ Not really, because motivations change over time. It is okay to make a startup because you’re just curious about what it would be like, or to make money.
Ask yourself “What do I have to lose?”
- Figure out what the worst-case scenario would look like if you started a startup
- Decide if it is worth it or not
- Be honest with yourself
What you have to gain:
- Factor in the fact that you will learn a lot from starting a company:
- project management,
- product development
- Good for future career prospects (example of former founders who are managers at bigger companies now)
Getting ready to start a startup (in the future)
Things you need:
- An idea
- A co-founder
- It's okay to only know the ideal space you wish to work in
- It needs several iterations before finding the right product-market fit (PMF)
- In college — someone you like to work on difficult problems with or do group assignments with
- At work — colleagues that make you more productive and help you do your best work
- Someone with a strong technical background preferred
- The best environment to get startup ideas is to work at a startup
- Turn your ideas into side projects. However small the idea is, work towards turning it into something tangible.
- Follow other smart, creative people on socials (Twitter, YT, LinkedIn)
- Better to make a product that a few people really love, rather than many people are indifferent about
Summing up the advice:
- Don’t worry about starting motivations — curiosity is enough
- Worst-case scenario analysis
- Find smart people to talk about ideas with
- Turn ideas into side projects and launch them
- If you enjoy the process — make the jump!