Thursday, March 10, 2005

So... you want to Start a Startup

Sage words from Paul Graham.
You got a great idea? What are you going to do with it?

Another sign of how little the initial idea is worth is the number of startups that change their plan en route. Microsoft's original plan was to make money selling programming languages, of all things. Their current business model didn't occur to them until IBM dropped it in their lap five years later.

What matters is not ideas, but the people who have them. Good people can fix bad ideas, but good ideas can't save bad people.

That last bit should go in a fortune cookie file.
So, what's important?

If you can't understand users, however, you should either learn how or find a co-founder who can. That is the single most important issue for technology startups, and the rock that sinks more of them than anything else.

Emphasis mine. Really true? It's worth pondering.
Paul, what's George's favorite thing to harp on?

In technology, the low end always eats the high end.

It's very dangerous to let anyone fly under you. If you have the cheapest, easiest product, you'll own the low end. And if you don't, you're in the crosshairs of whoever does.

Got that right. And, how's this for a parting sentiment?

Starting a startup is not the great mystery it seems from outside. It's not something you have to know about "business" to do. Build something users love, and spend less than you make. How hard is that?

Indeed. Read the whole essay when you get a chance. Figure out how to attract and retain animals.


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