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Forums Forums Business Startups Sam Altman’s “How to succeed with a startup” – I thought this video was a goldmine and wanted to share my notes on it ~

  • Sam Altman’s “How to succeed with a startup” – I thought this video was a goldmine and wanted to share my notes on it ~

    updated 8 months, 2 weeks ago 0 Member · 1 Post
  • David

    October 28, 2019 at 9:47 pm

    Video source: ​ The degree to which you’re successful is the degree to which you build a product that is so good that people spontaneously tell their friends about it. There is no other secret to success. This is it. It’s really hard to do. We find out about great products from our friends. One litmus test here is to ask yourself, is your product easy to understand? Can it be explained in a simple sentence? If you can’t explain what your product does in a sentence, it’s a bad sign. People don’t pitch their friends. People share cool stuff with their friends. If you can’t do this, it’s a sign of unclear thinking. You also need to be looking for a market that is starting to undergo or is soon to be undergoing exponential growth. One of the biggest mistakes that investors make when evaluating startups is to focus on the growth rate. Investors will forgive low revenue if there’s rapid growth. For some reason, people don’t think about markets this way. They should. Most successful startups start in small markets that are growing very quickly. You want to identify a market that’s set to grow every year and then ride the elevator up. It’s important to distinguish between real trends and fake trends. If your product is targeted at a real trend, then your early adopters will use it obsessively and tell their friends how much they love it. A fake trend can be identified by people using your product, but not enough to tell their friends about it. When the iPhone came out, it became a central part of the lives of the people who purchased it. People who were paying attention noticed that the iPhone fundamentally changed our notion of computing platforms. It was a good time to bet on mobile apps. An example of a fake trend (in 2018) is VR. It may be big in the future, but not yet. Many people may buy them or talk about them, but most people don’t use them very often. There’s not an intense usage-per-user among the early adopters. Usually startups also need an evangelical founder. Someone has to be able to do everything. This requires someone who can infect the world with what the idea is all about and what the company is trying to do. It’s very hard to succeed without some kind of a chief evangelist who’s emotionally invested in the mission and infects the world. An ambitious vision helps with this. Being grandiose turns people off, but you want to let yourself grow more ambitious over time. Ambitious visions are fun to work on! They’re interesting. Picking something that matters is a great way to attract people towards an ambitious vision. When you’re starting something, make sure that it’s something that a lot of people will want to contribute to and associate with. Getting mindshare is really hard. People are interested in startups that matter. Successful startups are usually started by a founder with a confident and definite view of the future. Even if you’re wrong, flexible confidence of a clearly articulated future tends to correlate to success. The startup ecosystem is best set up to support companies that have a low chance of success but are huge if they work. Going for something that’s huge if it works will attract the best people. In terms of team, you obviously need smart people who work really hard and communicate well. The team you build is the company you build. Only a few founders spend enough time recruiting. When you switch from building a product to building a company, you shift towards assembling a team. Optimism is also incredibly important. The world will tell you why you’ll fail, but if you don’t have the internal fire of belief, and people around you saying “this is going to work, we’re going to figure this out”, without the spirit of optimism, it’s very hard to succeed. Idea people are important. You don’t want too many, because then you’ll have more ideas than you can follow through on, but having people who throw out ideas (even if most are bad) is very very important. “We’ll figure it out” is super important. So is “I’ll do it” A bias towards action is important Startups usually win by moving very quickly. You want people who act with much less data than they want to have. If what they try doesn’t work, then they adapt quickly and try something else. “The blessing of inexperience” – Steve Wozniak has talked about how the best things he’s ever done came from having no experience whatsoever and having no money. One of the most important jobs you have as a founder is to never lose momentum. This means that for the first few years, you never get to rest. Startups survive on their own momentum. If you lose momentum, it’s very difficult to get it back. Recurring victories are very important. Startups also need a competitive advantage. A network effect. Monopoly potential. You don’t need to have the business model figured out at the beginning, but you should have some kind of sensible business model articulated. You also need a distribution strategy. How are you going to grow? The traits of the best founders include Frugality, Focus, Obsession, and Love If you work on ideas that sound bad but are actually good, you’ll have an advantage over your existing competitors because in any established company, there’s a hierarchy and one single “no” can destroy an idea. With a startup, you don’t need to convince a hierarchy. You can just do the thing. A startup’s advantage is in agility and speed. The more a market is changing, the higher the number of decisions you get to make, the more agile you can be in comparison to existing companies. If your market is evolving quickly, then that gives your advantage the ability to compound over that of an established player. – by hq overview eveFromKarmaFm – –

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