I’m @grinich
1. My Background
2. How to Startup
3. Inbox Preview
1. My Background
2. How to Startup
3. Inbox Preview
The least likely founder
Wasn’t the prodigy kid programmer....

... no Intel Science Fair, robotics club, programming
classes, research labs, aced ...
+1000 people
$15k from sponsors (VCs, law firm)
12 speakers from Boston & SF

... 3 full-time students.
Enough about me.
!

Let’s talk about startups.
1. My Background
2. How to Startup
3. Inbox Preview
• How to prepare while in school
• How to think of a (good) idea
• How to find your co-founders
• What to build when protot...
• How to prepare while in school
• How to think of a (good) idea
• How to find your co-founders
• What to build when protot...
1. Learn to build stuff
Startups need software engineers, not computer scientists.
I shipped +20 projects before graduating...
2. Read everything
• Business
• Product design
• Founder blogs
• Hacker News
• Design magazines
• HBS Case Studies
• Take ...
3. Work your ass off

365 =
1.01

38.8
365 = 0.03
0.99
Nearly all meet-ups and networking
events are a waste of time.
!

Tr...
• How to prepare while in school
• How to think of a (good) idea
• How to find your co-founders
• What to build when protot...
Have (lots of) ideas
Most of them will be lousy.
You only need to be right once.
Ingredients for a startup:
☑ large market
☑ hard tech
☑ pain point
☑ crufty foe
• How to prepare while in school
• How to think of a (good) idea
• How to find your co-founders
• What to build when protot...
If you want to go fast, go alone.
If you want to go far, go together.

– African proverb
People you’ve built fun projects with.
People you like hanging out with.
People who work hard.
People you trust.
Your frie...
Most important that you have shared values.
• How to prepare while in school
• How to think of a (good) idea
• How to find your co-founders
• What to build when protot...
Realize that your idea is 5% formed.
Build small things to test big ideas.
Startups evolve as they grow.
That’s the point.
The important thing is to strive towards 

a goal which is not immediately visible.
That goal is not the concern of the mi...
• How to prepare while in school
• How to think of a (good) idea
• How to find your co-founders
• What to build when protot...
(Wait as long as you possibly can.)
Who are you?
Why are you building this?
Who is it for?
How do you know they need it?
Fundraising is performance art.
Cold-emailing doesn’t work— get intros.
Best investors provide value beyond $$$.
Don’t focus on the valuation.
Startups ar...
• How to prepare while in school
• How to think of a (good) idea
• How to find your co-founders
• What to build when protot...
Traditional interviews don’t work.
Recruiters don’t make sense.
You are HR.
People join startups because of the people.
Be generous with equity.
• How to prepare while in school
• How to think of a (good) idea
• How to find your co-founders
• What to build when protot...
1. My Background
2. HOW TO STARTUP
3. INBOX PREVIEW
1. My Background
2. HOW TO STARTUP
3. Inbox Preview
questions ?
mg@inboxapp.com
preview.inboxapp.com

ps: we’re hiring :)
Hack Harvard talk (1/20/2014)
Hack Harvard talk (1/20/2014)
Hack Harvard talk (1/20/2014)
Hack Harvard talk (1/20/2014)
Hack Harvard talk (1/20/2014)
Hack Harvard talk (1/20/2014)
Hack Harvard talk (1/20/2014)
Hack Harvard talk (1/20/2014)
Hack Harvard talk (1/20/2014)
Hack Harvard talk (1/20/2014)
Hack Harvard talk (1/20/2014)
Hack Harvard talk (1/20/2014)
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Hack Harvard talk (1/20/2014)

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Hack Harvard talk (1/20/2014)

  1. 1. I’m @grinich
  2. 2. 1. My Background 2. How to Startup 3. Inbox Preview
  3. 3. 1. My Background 2. How to Startup 3. Inbox Preview
  4. 4. The least likely founder
  5. 5. Wasn’t the prodigy kid programmer....
 ... no Intel Science Fair, robotics club, programming classes, research labs, aced SATs, ivy league, etc. “MIT? That’s in Michigan right?”
  6. 6. +1000 people $15k from sponsors (VCs, law firm) 12 speakers from Boston & SF ... 3 full-time students.
  7. 7. Enough about me. ! Let’s talk about startups.
  8. 8. 1. My Background 2. How to Startup 3. Inbox Preview
  9. 9. • How to prepare while in school • How to think of a (good) idea • How to find your co-founders • What to build when prototyping • How to raise money (and the pitfalls) • How to hire people … my last 12 months.
  10. 10. • How to prepare while in school • How to think of a (good) idea • How to find your co-founders • What to build when prototyping • How to raise money (and the pitfalls) • How to hire people … my last 12 months.
  11. 11. 1. Learn to build stuff Startups need software engineers, not computer scientists. I shipped +20 projects before graduating. Many were either wellpaid internships or contract jobs with flexible hours. ... and I wrote my first line of code during freshman year. You don’t run a marathon without training first!
  12. 12. 2. Read everything • Business • Product design • Founder blogs • Hacker News • Design magazines • HBS Case Studies • Take classes in 
 other departments • NYT & NPR • Technical papers from
 industry companies
  13. 13. 3. Work your ass off 365 = 1.01 38.8 365 = 0.03 0.99 Nearly all meet-ups and networking events are a waste of time. ! Treat them as recreation, not work. ! The best connections are made through working on projects with people.
  14. 14. • How to prepare while in school • How to think of a (good) idea • How to find your co-founders • What to build when prototyping • How to raise money (and the pitfalls) • How to hire people
  15. 15. Have (lots of) ideas
  16. 16. Most of them will be lousy. You only need to be right once.
  17. 17. Ingredients for a startup: ☑ large market ☑ hard tech ☑ pain point ☑ crufty foe
  18. 18. • How to prepare while in school • How to think of a (good) idea • How to find your co-founders • What to build when prototyping • How to raise money (and the pitfalls) • How to hire people
  19. 19. If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.
 – African proverb
  20. 20. People you’ve built fun projects with. People you like hanging out with. People who work hard. People you trust. Your friends.
  21. 21. Most important that you have shared values.
  22. 22. • How to prepare while in school • How to think of a (good) idea • How to find your co-founders • What to build when prototyping • How to raise money (and the pitfalls) • How to hire people
  23. 23. Realize that your idea is 5% formed. Build small things to test big ideas. Startups evolve as they grow. That’s the point.
  24. 24. The important thing is to strive towards 
 a goal which is not immediately visible. That goal is not the concern of the mind, 
 but of the spirit. – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
  25. 25. • How to prepare while in school • How to think of a (good) idea • How to find your co-founders • What to build when prototyping • How to raise money (and the pitfalls) • How to hire people
  26. 26. (Wait as long as you possibly can.)
  27. 27. Who are you? Why are you building this? Who is it for? How do you know they need it?
  28. 28. Fundraising is performance art.
  29. 29. Cold-emailing doesn’t work— get intros. Best investors provide value beyond $$$. Don’t focus on the valuation. Startups are a binary outcome game. Get back to work.
  30. 30. • How to prepare while in school • How to think of a (good) idea • How to find your co-founders • What to build when prototyping • How to raise money (and the pitfalls) • How to hire people
  31. 31. Traditional interviews don’t work. Recruiters don’t make sense. You are HR.
  32. 32. People join startups because of the people.
  33. 33. Be generous with equity.
  34. 34. • How to prepare while in school • How to think of a (good) idea • How to find your co-founders • What to build when prototyping • How to raise money (and the pitfalls) • How to hire people
  35. 35. 1. My Background 2. HOW TO STARTUP 3. INBOX PREVIEW
  36. 36. 1. My Background 2. HOW TO STARTUP 3. Inbox Preview
  37. 37. questions ? mg@inboxapp.com preview.inboxapp.com
 ps: we’re hiring :)

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