paul-graham-ycombinator

All Credit Goes To Dave McClure.  Wanted to grab these quotes before his Twitter stream had more posts added in, making them hard to find.  Following quotes were from Paul Graham’s talk at FBFund at Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto:

  • “one thing at YC we learned that determination matters FAR more than intelligence.”
  • “we’ve learned if yr talking 2 bunch startup founders & can’t tell who leader is, that means there *isn’t* one.”
  • “VCs like charismatic founders. however, that’s not always correlated w/ success. sometimes Nerds have good ROI.”
  • “Pattern recognition is what you fall back on when you don’t quite understand something…”
  • “Startups rarely die from competitors. They die of *SUICIDE*.” (stupidity, lack of money, lack of customers)
  • “Running a tech startup w/o a tech founder is about as hard as playing pool with a piece of rope.
  • “investors notice you the *third* time they hear your name.” (keep plugging away, keep working it)”
  • “Realize there’s a *war* on. yr in Mad Max world, there’s no gas, gangs roam the street. be careful, be frugal.”
  • “Realize how dangerous the situation is for a startup. By default, YOU WILL DIE. take it seriously.”
  • “Corollary: it could be really *bad* if you pick the *wrong* number/metric.”
  • “pick a number or metric, and try to make it go up.”
  • “i’m convinced that startup success comes from multiple iterations.”
  • “When product companies start to die, they become consulting co’s. but it’s not as bad as dying”
  • “don’t over-optimize on valuation. if u get good investor / decent offer, take it.”
  • “having fabulous customer service will help you in *numerous* ways…”
  • “Frat boys *dream* of becoming a VC… it’s like being a frat boy with an expense acct”
  • “the test for whether a VC says yes or no… look at your hands. if yr not holding a term sheet, they said NO.”
  • “board meetings, like launching, help you get shit done (every month/qtr) & find out why/how you suck”
  • “launching helps you find out how you suck. (until u launch, u might suck, but u won’t know why)”
  • after launch, u have initial traffic spike then drop, & wait 4 it to gradually rise. this period = “Trough of Sorrow”
  • Paul Graham talking about the Startup experience… website traffic = correlated with entrepreneur motivation

Once again Dave McClure rocks for posting this stuff on his Twitter feed.