Here are two fantastic posts from Y Combinator‘s Sam Altman and Paul Graham.
- Startup advice, briefly: Basically everything what Sam Altman knows, condensed in a very short and excellent post.
- Do things that don’t scale: Excellent essay by Paul Graham
- “Listen to what your users tell you, improve your product, and then listen again. Keep doing this until you’ve made something some users love”
- “Figure out a way to get users at scale (i.e. bite the bullet and learn how sales and marketing work)”
- “Obsess about your growth rate, and never stop. The company will build what the CEO measures. If you ever catch yourself saying “we’re not really focused on growth right now”, think very carefully about the possibility you’re focused on the wrong thing.”
My summary of the Y Combinator success formula:
Build product + talk to users + focus on growth = Success
Here is what I learned from this:
- If you are a marketplace business, you are a network-effects business. For marketplaces, the main product is the user base. That’s why all networks (LinkedIn, Facebook, Uber etc.) are hyper-focused on growth.
- At Trigami the best thing we ever did was to hire our first sales manager and absolutely focusing on sales. We read books about sales, went to sales seminars, and took it very seriously. Within a year we have grown our revenues 4x, compared to the time when I was the only sales person.