There is no one key to success as a startup founder. However, some important things to remember are to have a clear vision, focus on execution, and be able to adapt to change.
Some common tips to succeed with a startup:
- Be customer-centric – make something people want.
- Have a clear vision – helps prioritize decisions.
- Focus on execution.
- Build the strongest team possible – Aim high.
- Improve quickly – The faster you can improve, the better.
- Keep expenses low in the early days.
- Be passionate about what you are building.
- Plan for long-term success.
- Iterate and adapt to change quickly.
Must read to get started
The Great CEO Within: How to build a category-killing company from the ground up (My favorite startup book and its a free shared doc) on Habits, Infrastructure, Collaboration, Processes
Sam Altman - How to Succeed with a Startup
- YCombinator Startup School Curriculum (free fantastic videos to create a startup)
- YCombinator Library of great resources/links
- Marc Andreessen’s (a16z) Essays
- Paul Graham’s (yc) Essays
- YC Startup Class Readings by Sam Altman
- Book: Zero to One by Peter Thiel
- Alias provides curated content from great founders, investors etc.
- Great Lessons on operating in a downturn
- Startup = Growth by Paul Graham
- How to Set KPIs and Goals (YC Startup School)
- Get Started With OKRs: Your step-by-step guide for setting and achieving audacious goals
- How to Measure (YC Startup School by Quora Founder)
- Hiring and Culture with Patrick and John Collison and Ben Silbermann (YC Startup School 2014)
- Patrick Collison on the Culture of Stripe and How to Hire [The Knowledge Project Ep. #32]
- Culture with Airbnbs Brian Chesky and Sequioas Alfred Lin
- Don’t Fuck Up the Culture by Airbnbs Brian Chesky
- Building Culture by YCs Tim Brady
- Computer Science Course (CS50 by Harvard)
- Google Material Design Guide
- Coursera Algorithms Course
- Ethereum Whitepaper
- Solidity Course: Crypto Zombies
can recommended joining bootcamps, communities or fellowships to push and apply your skills
- 42 CS Coding Bootcamp
- On Deck Program: helps people start companies, find their next role, and invest in their careers
- Pioneer.app: The network for ambitious outsiders
- Emergent Ventures Fellowship: ´a fellowship and grant program from the Mercatus Center, seeks to support entrepreneurs and brilliant minds with highly scalable, “zero to one” ideas for meaningfully improving society.
- Kernel.community Fellowship/Community by Gitcoin
Ideas, Themes, Open Questions
- gwern.net “Misc project ideas”
- gwern.net “marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2019/12/work-on-these-things.html”
- Worlds Hardest Problems
- Top Twitter Requests for Startups
- Homebrews RFS
- The Great CEO Within: The Tactical Guide to Company Building (must read)
- Marty Cagan „Inspired: How to Create Tech Products Customers Love
Michael Seibel - Building Product
David Rusenko - How To Find Product Market Fit
Michael Seibel - How to Plan an MVP
Peter Thiel - Competition is for Losers (How to Start a Startup 2014)
Ycombinators The Pocket Guide of Essential Advice
- Launch now
- Build something people want
- Do things that don’t scale
- Find the 90 / 10 solution
- Find 10-100 customers who love your product
- All startups are badly broken at some point
- Write code - talk to users
- “It’s not your money”
- Growth is the result of a great product not the precursor
- Don’t scale your team/product until you have built something people want
- Valuation is not equal to success or even probability of success
- Avoid long negotiated deals with big customers if you can
- Avoid big company corporate development queries - they will only waste time
- Avoid conferences unless they are the best way to get customers
- Pre-product market fit - do things that don’t scale: remain small/nimble
- Startups can only solve one problem well at any given time
- Founder relationships matter more than you think
- Sometimes you need to fire your customers (they might be killing you)
- Ignore your competitors, you will more likely die of suicide than murder
- Most companies don’t die because they run out of money
- Be nice! Or at least don’t be a jerk
- Get sleep and exercise - take care of yourself
- don’t start a startup for the sake of starting a startup, only if you burn to solve a specific problem and build a great solution
- talk to users, and try to understand what they want (they won’t tell you what you should build, but if you listen you’ll understand their wants)
- start building a prototype / mvp and launch it to potential users as soon as possible -> can be as simple as a landing page where people can signup for the waitlist
- improve/iterate, participate in a program such as startupschool.org
- apply to a program such as EntrepreneursFirst if u want to meet a cofounder, come up with an idea and raise funding, or to a program such as