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Paul Graham’S Lessons For Startups 2006

Paul Graham’S Lessons For Startups 2006






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Paul Graham’S Lessons For Startups 2006 Paul Graham’S Lessons For Startups 2006 Presentation Transcript

  • Paul Graham’s Lessons for Startups Startup School 2006
  • Background
    • Paul Graham speaking to students at Startup School 2006, Stanford University
    • Watch the video
  • 1. Release Early
    • Get a version 1 out fast and improve it based on user’s reactions
    • Startups die because they release too slow, not too fast
    • User feedback is unpredictable but critical
    • Releasing early creates a sense of urgency to fix live bugs
  • 2. Keep Pumping Out Features
    • Improve on version 1 fast
    • Focus on customer needs
    • Avoid complexity
    • Continuous improvement is great marketing
    • Listen to your users
    • Force yourself to improve
  • 3. Make Users Happy
    • Loyal users are worth more than gold
    • But don’t ignore casual users
    • Show (don’t tell) users what the software does
  • 4. Fear the Right Things
    • Worry about the right things
    • Disasters are normal
    • Worry about startups, not big companies
    • Worry about future competitors, not current competitors
    • Top 3 real concerns: internal miscues, inertia, ignoring users
  • 5. Commitment is a Self-fulfilling Prophecy
    • Bet on grad-students, not professors
    • Disasters are the norm
    • Investors judge startups by the founders’ commitment
    • Be ready to fight to the death
  • 6. There’s Always Room
    • Think of the possibilities for improvement, not the status quo
    • Google, MySpace, Facebook, and del.ico.us are not the final startups ever
  • 7. Don’t Get Your Hopes Up
    • Optimism is power but also dangerous
    • Be realistic about what you expect others (users, employees, deals) to do
    • Don’t pin all hopes on one investor, one customer, one supplier
    • Be flexible and keep other options open
    • Focus on users, users, users
  • Conclusion
    • Startups are stressful
    • Why do it?
    • Startups are a way of compressing years of employment into a shorter time
    • Startups can be fun